Chemist from University of Virginia to Talk on Scientific Discovery

(Posted October 17, 2005)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Mario Geysen, professor of combinatorial chemistry at the University of Virginia, will lecture at Juniata College on "Fishing for Antibodies and the Origins of Combinatorial Chemistry" at 8 p.m., Monday, Oct. 17 in Neff Lecture Hall in the von Liebig Center for Science on the Juniata campus.

The lecture is free and open to the public.

Geysen's talk will talk about the role serendipity plays in the discovery of new scientific concepts. Using Sir Isaac Newton as an example, the lecture will show how the serendipitous act of an apple falling on Newton's head led to the theory of gravity. Combinatorial chemistry, Geysen will explain, uses robotics, computers and other industrial processes to develop faster and more cost-effective methods to discover new drugs, new materials and new chemistries.

Geysen also will give two other lectures during his stay at Juniata. He will lecture on "Combinatorial Chemistry: Another Name for the Industrialization of Chemistry" at 5 p.m., Tuesday, Oct 18 in Neff Lecture Hall in the von Liebig science center. He also will speak on "Combinatorial Chemistry as an Example of a Search Strategy for Drug Discovery" at 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 19 in Neff Lecture Hall in the von Liebig science center.

The Oct. 18 and 19 lectures are free and open to the public.

Geysen specializes in combinatorial chemistry, which uses chemistry, robotics, instrumentation, computer science and engineering to perform experiments in parallel to answer questions faster and more comprehensively than conventional experiments. Combinatorial chemistry was developed for use in drug discovery. Geysen's research focuses on the development of these techniques for use in many applications.

Geysen earned a bachelor's degree in chemistry from the University of Melbourne in Australia. He went on to earn a master's degree in chemical engineering and a diploma in biochemical engineering from University College in London, England. He earned doctorate in microbiology from the University of Melbourne.

Contact John Wall at or (814) 641-3132 for more information.