Nakamoto Lecture Series

  • Dr. Kazuo Nakamoto
  • 2022 Lecture
  • Past Nakamoto Lecturers

Dr. Kazuo NakamotoKazuo Nakamoto was born in Kobe, Japan. He received his B.S. and D.Sc. from Osaka University and remained at Osaka as a member of the faculty for an additional four years, except for the two years which he spent at Iowa State University working in the laboratory of Robert E. Rundle as a Fulbright Scholar. In 1958 he joined the faculty at Clark University, moving to Illinois Institute of Technology in 1961 and in 1969 he became the first Wehr Professor of Chemistry at Marquette University.

Professor Nakamoto directed the research of more than 85 graduate students and postdoctoral associates and published more than 210 papers and 15 review articles. He was a pioneer in the use of metal isotopes to elucidate the involvement of metals in low frequency vibrations in metallic complexes, a discovery that helped fuel the rapid growth in the developing field of bioinorganic chemistry. He then turned his attention to biological problems and began a vigorous research program dealing with heme-related compounds. He was also amongst the first to use matrix isolation techniques to prepare and characterize unstable species, including the biologically relevant ferryl heme complexes, an important intermediate in many oxidative heme enzymes. His interest also included DNA and the process of intercalation. Using oligonucleotides synthesized to include specific sequences, he established criteria that can be used to deduce the site specificity of these compounds. He was able to differentiate between exterior (groove) binding and interior (intercalation) binding through careful vibrational analysis.

In keeping with his life-long interest in communicating the excitement of science, he authored several influential texts in the field of spectroscopy, including his very famous 2-volume work on Infrared and Raman Spectra of Inorganic and Coordination Compounds, the sixth edition of which was issued in 2009, and in 2008 coauthored a new book entitled Drug-DNA Interactions: Structures and Spectra. Remarkably, his passion for science and dedication to accomplishment were clearly manifested, even up to the final weeks of his life, as he was continually pondering new points to include in planned future editions of his books. In spite of his great scientific success, he remained a genuinely modest man who will long be missed by the many of us who knew and admired him.


George SchatzThe Department of Chemistry is pleased to announce that this year's Nakamoto Lecture will be given by Professor George Schatz, Northwestern University . The lecture, "Nanoparticles, Plasmons, Photocatalysis and Theory," will be held at 4 pm on Friday, December 2, 2022 in room 121 of the Todd Wehr Chemistry Building.

George C. Schatz is Charles E. and Emma H. Morrison Professor of Chemistry at Northwestern University. 

He received his undergraduate degree in chemistry at Clarkson University and a Ph. D at Caltech. He was a postdoc at MIT, and has been at Northwestern since 1976. Schatz is a theoretician who studies the optical, structural and thermal properties of nanomaterials, including plasmonic nanoparticles, plasmonic metamaterials, DNA and peptide nanostructures, and carbon-based materials. He has contributed to theories of dynamical processes, including gas phase and gas/surface reactions, energy transfer processes, transport phenomena and photochemistry. Schatz has published four books and over 1100 papers. Schatz is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has received numerous awards, including the Debye and Langmuir Awards of the ACS, and the Bourke and Boys-Rahman Award of the Royal Society of Chemistry. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, the Royal Society of Chemistry, the American Chemical Society and of the AAAS.