Oregon State UniversitySpecial Collections & Archives Research Center

“Useful Knowledge about Magnetic Resonance Imaging,” Dr. John D. Roberts

2006 Linus Pauling Legacy Award

May 4, 2006

Speaker Biography

John D. Roberts
John D. Roberts (California Institute of Technology)

“Useful Knowledge about Magnetic Resonance Imaging”  Watch Video

One of the true pioneers of organic chemistry, John D. "Jack" Roberts has enjoyed an academic career spanning some sixty years, five-hundred research publications and ten books. An early authority on the subject of reaction mechanisms, Roberts' investigations have contributed greatly to the scientific understanding of how chemical reactions occur and, likewise, of the nature of the products created as a result of chemical reactions.

Roberts is also well-known for applying ideas developed by physical chemistry to a wide array of problems confronting organic chemistry. These cross-disciplinary applications are now considered to be fundamental to the entire study of organic chemistry.

Roberts is further regarded to be one of the world's foremost authorities on the subject of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy - the powerful technique used by chemists to determine the molecular structure of large organic compounds. NMR is also the underlying technology behind the magnetic resonance imaging systems commonly used in medical diagnosis, a topic upon which Dr. Roberts expounds during his talk.

Once described by Linus Pauling as "one of the most promising, able and original organic chemists in the country," Roberts has received numerous honors including the Joseph Priestley Medal (1987), the National Medal of Science (1990) and the National Academy of Sciences Award in Chemical Sciences (1999).