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The Sciences at the University at Albany, 1845-2006

Distinguished Research Professor Eric Block, Department of Chemistry

Professor Eric Block's research group

One of the stars of the University at Albany's Department of Chemistry is Distinguished Research Professor Eric Block, an expert in the chemistry of sulfur and specifically of the compounds in garlic, onions, and other genus Allium plants. Professor Block was named to one of the first two endowed professorships at the University in April 2006 and will hold the Carla Rizzo Delray '42 Professorship. Block's research group is pictured here with former president, Karen R. Hitchcock, also a scientist.

The teaching of chemistry has a long history at the University. First taught on March 15, 1845, it was formed into the Department of Chemistry in 1909 with the move to the Downtown Campus. Graduate education in Chemistry was introduced in 1913, and in 1915 the first Master’s thesis, Margaret Tymesom, “Spectrum Analysis of Nitrogen and its Components,” was accepted. Majors and minors in Chemistry were introduced in 1914. The department underwent dramatic expansion when the school became a University Center in 1962. The doctoral program was introduced in 1965 and the first Ph.D. dissertation in Chemistry was submitted by Richard Strunk in 1967, titled “Properties of some free radicals generated in the reduction of alkyl halides by organotin hydrides.”

Click here for an administrative history of the Department of Chemistry.

Click here to visit Dr. Block's Webpage.

Exhibit curated by Geoffrey Williams, University Archivist
Research and design assistance by George Asante, History 499 Archival Intern

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Last updated May 30, 2006