2013-14 Sylvia M. Stoesser Lecture in Chemistry


2013-14 Sylvia M. Stoesser Lecture in Chemistry

Dr. Rina Dukor
President and CEO, BioTools, Inc.

"Probing Structure of Chiral Drugs and Biomolecules with Vibrational Optical Activity (VOA)"
Thursday, February 27, 2014 4:00 pm
112 Chemistry Annex

Rina Dukor is the President of BioTools, a company she co-founded with Professor Laurence Nafie in 2000.

Rina received a PhD in physical chemistry from the University of Illinois, Chicago (UIC) in 1991 under the supervision of Professor Timothy A. Keiderling. Her thesis explored the new field of Vibrational Circular Dichroism (VCD) of biological molecules. Upon graduation, Rina joined Amoco (currently Abbott) where she established a spectroscopy laboratory focused on proteins and nucleic acids. While in industry, she pioneered the introduction of aqueous infrared spectroscopy to the biopharmaceutical industry through the development of instrumentation, sampling techniques and software for protein secondary structure determination. Her methodology, commercialized as PROTA, is now used by over 60 of the leading biopharmaceutical companies, and recently the FDA listed FT-IR as one of the strongly recommended techniques for structure elucidation of biopharmaceuticals. Additionally, she pioneered the development of reflection infrared micro-spectroscopy for ‘disease diagnostics’. Finally, by bringing VCD to the marketplace, Rina helped cement the use of VCD by major pharmaceutical companies for the determination of absolute configuration of chiral pharmaceuticals that has now become the most widely used technique for the stereo-structure specification of chiral molecules.

Rina has co-authored close to 60 peer-reviewed papers; several review chapters and is a holder of four patents. Dr. Dukor is a recipient of several awards including the Williams-Wright Award (presented at PittCon), the NRC Award for Business Person of the Year, the Distinguished Service Award from the Society for Applied Spectroscopy, and the R&D 100 Award (presented to BioTools for the commercialization of Raman Optical Activity (ROA) instrumentation).  The commercialization of VCD as a new groundbreaking analytical technique has been featured in C&EN and on the cover of the UIC Alumni magazine. 

Rina serves on several Boards including the Board of Visitors for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at UIC, the IBC of Scripps Florida and advisory boards of several companies and leading roles of scientific organizations.  She served as President of the Society for Applied Spectroscopy in 2000 and on its Board for ten years; as a General Chair of the FACSS (Federation of Analytical Chemistry and Spectroscopy Societies) Conference in 2003, as a co-Chair of the Third International Conference of Advanced Vibrational Spectroscopy (ICAVS-3) in 2005 and as Focal Point Editor for Molecular Spectroscopy (Applied Spectroscopy Journal) for several terms.

Her greatest pride and joy in life are her two remarkable children who from early age understood that their mom had a deep passion for her work, and through their active participation and understanding, allowed her to venture into the world of science and entrepreneurship.