Musselman lecture series brings MIT scientist to Gettysburg

Photo credit: American Chemical Society

Photo credit: American Chemical Society

By Aphra Murray, Staff Writer

Each year, the Science Department here at Gettysburg College welcomes the Musselman Visiting Scientist, generously funded by the Musselman Foundation.

This year, the Chemistry Department welcomed Dr. Stephen Lippard, the Arthur Amos Moyes Professor of Chemistry at M.I.T. Professor Lippard’s talks centered around inorganic chemistry, specifically “Metal Mediated Biological Chemistry” – the title of his public lecture in Mara Auditorium.

The purpose of the Musselman Visiting Scientists Lecture is to allow both staff and faculty to learn new aspects of previously unheard of chemistry but also to ensure that the department stays up to date and engaged with current research. Established in 1980, the lecture series has seen scientists such as Ka Yee C. Lee and Nobel Prize winner Richard Schrock.

While the talks this year largely covered inorganic chemistry, Professor Lippard has studied and researched in the fields of inorganic chemistry, biochemistry and neurochemistry across his career.

Within these studies included research on the mechanisms of inorganic neurotransmitters and the role of platinum anticancer drugs, which lead to the co-founding of Blend Therapeutics in 2011. Now renamed Placon Therapeutics, the company has begun Phase I clinical trials for the novel platinum anti-cancer drug based on Lippard’s research.

Ultimately, the Musselman Visiting Scientist Lectures have proven once again their value at Gettysburg College as several students have noted their now growing interest in the field of inorganic chemistry, especially given the relevance of the research.

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