Winner: Professor Robert Kennedy

The Chromatographic Society is now pleased to announce that Professor Robert Kennedy from the University of Michigan will be awarded the Martin Medal for 2019.

The award has been made in recognition of his “outstanding contribution to the development of innovative techniques in miniaturization of chemical separations and microfluidics for highly sensitive analysis of biological compounds”.

Robert Kennedy developed an interest in analytical chemistry and chemical separations while earning his BS degree in chemistry at the University of Florida. He became fascinated with the ability of GC to separate subtly different molecules while he was performing undergraduate research in organic chemistry. His analytical classes taught by Prof. John Dorsey further enhanced this interest. He went on to earn a PhD with James Jorgenson at University of North Carolina where is work focused on using open tubular LC to analyze single cells. After a post-doc with Mark Wightman, he started his own research program at University of Florida before moving to University of Michigan as the Hobart H. Willard Professor of Chemistry in 2002.

His research has combined his lifelong interest in biology with chemical analysis and separations. A theme of his group has been development of miniaturized, high-speed separations for sensing, detection of non-covalent complexes, and screening. His group has developed capillary separation methods for monitoring neurotransmitters in vivo. These methods have been used for studying changes in neurotransmitter concentrations associated with behavior and diseases. His group has also developed microfluidic electrophoresis devices for monitoring insulin secretion from pancreatic cells.

These methods are coupled with LC-MS metabolomics to understand the biochemical mechanism of insulin secretion and perturbations associated with diabetes. His group is also researching use of rapid electrophoretic and mass spectrometric assays for high-throughput screening. His work has been recognized by several awards including ACS Award in Chromatography, McKnight Award for Technical Innovations in Neuroscience, EAS Separation Science Award, Golay Award for Achievements in Chromatography, The Ralph Adams Award in Bioanalytical Chemistry and several teaching awards. He has held several service posts and is presently Associate Editor of Analytical Chemistry and Chair of the Chemistry Department at University of Michigan.

Robert has been a leading separation science researcher for a number of years with many of his students and collaborators progressing into positions of seniority. It is with great pleasure The Chromatographic Society awards the 2019 Martin Medal to Professor Robert Kennedy this well-deserved honour will be presented to him at HPLC 2019 in Milan.