Dr. McConnell, the Robert Eckles Swain Professor of Chemistry Emeritus at Stanford University, has made significant discoveries related to cellular behavior at the molecular level by applying physical chemical principles to problems of ongoing interest in biological and medical research. For example, he has increased our understanding of the interactions between cholesterol and the fatty acid chains of phospholipids, and the reactions between proteins and peptides by which the body activates its immune system.
These discoveries set the stage for further research that will bring new insights into immune surveillance and in understanding the function of cholesterol in cells, says Richard J. V. Johnson, chairman, The Welch Foundation. The achievements of Dr. McConnell exemplify the guiding principle of The Welch Foundation and the spirit of the Welch Award: basic research in chemistry that contributes to the betterment of humankind.
Dr. McConnell has made a series of pioneering discoveries concerning the physical state of liquid membranes, providing principles used every day by many scientists, says Norman Hackerman, chairman of the Welch Scientific Advisory Board. His combination of physical chemistry and biology has immediate relevance to contemporary research on cell membranes.
Dr. McConnells first breakthrough came when he applied quantum mechanical methods to chemical problems, developing theoretical methods for relating nucl
Contact: Melissa Quiroz
The Welch Foundation