(Posted October 24, 2019)

Leroy "Lee" Cronin

Leroy "Lee" Cronin

HUNTINGDON, Pa. – Leroy “Lee” Cronin, Regius Chair of Chemistry in the School of Chemistry at the University of Glasgow, United Kingdom, will visit Juniata College Tuesday, Oct. 29, and Wednesday, Oct. 30, through the John P. Reeves ’64 Distinguished Lectureship in Chemistry. 

The first of Cronin’s three lectures, “Exploring the Bio-Inorganic Driven Origins of Life,” will be held from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. From 5-6:15 p.m. Tuesday, “Programming and Computing with Chemistry,” will be presented. “Autonomous Matter Design and Discovery using Chemputers” will be offered from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Wednesday. All of the lectures are free and open to the public and will be held in Neff Lecture Hall in von Liebig Center for Science.

Cronin has one of the largest multidisciplinary chemistry-based research teams in the world, having raised over $35 million in grants and current income of $15 million. His research is motivated by his lifelong fascination with complex chemical systems and his desire to construct complex functional molecular architectures not based on biologically-derived building blocks. 

Through his career, he has given over 300 international talks and has authored over 400 peer-reviewed papers. Cronin lead the research team which created the “chemputer” system which allows digitization of chemistry — using downloadable blueprints to easily synthesize drug molecules. This breakthrough may pave the way for a future in which pharmaceuticals can be produced on demand. 

Prior to his lecture series at Juniata, Cronin’s team based at the University of Glasgow and a team lead by Sara Walker at the Arizona State University were recognized by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for their work toward innovation in pain management, opioid use disorder and overdose. 

The John P. Reeves ’64 Distinguished Lectureship in Chemistry was established in 2014 in memory of John P. Reeves ’64 through a major gift from Thomas C. Werner ’64 and Mary Beaver Werner ’65 with additional funding from the Reeves family. Dr. Reeves was one of four chemistry graduates from the Class of 1964 who went on to earn doctoral degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Lecturers in the series are selected by the chair of the College’s chemistry department.

Cronin will be the guest of honor at the Central Pennsylvania American Chemical Society (ACS) local section meeting and dinner from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 29, with dinner served at 7 p.m. in Sill Board Room in the von Liebig Center for Science. The cost for undergraduate students is free, $10 for graduate students, $20 for ACS members, and $25 for non-ACS members. Space for the dinner is limited. To make a reservation or to learn more, contact Peter Baran, professor of chemistry, at baran@juniata.edu.

Contact April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.