Dr John Bennett Fenn

Dr John Bennett Fenn

Birth
New York, New York County (Manhattan), New York, USA
Death 10 Dec 2010 (aged 93)
Richmond, Richmond City, Virginia, USA
Burial Berea, Madison County, Kentucky, USA
Plot Div. H, Sec. F
Memorial ID 62862758 · View Source
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Scientist. He shared the 2002 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the development of electrospray ionization, a method to separate protein molecules and thus make them easier to identify. Raised initially in Hackensack, New Jersey, then from his teens in Berea, Kentucky, he received his undergraduate degree from Berea College in 1937 and his Ph.D. from Yale University in 1940. He spent three years on a US Navy project at Princeton University, then worked in the private sector for a number of years before returning to Princeton in 1959 as director of Project Squidd, the same Navy propulsion research on which he had earlier been an assistant. Dr. Fenn joined the chemistry faculty at Yale in 1967 and remained until his 1987 age-mandated retirement. Around the time he took professor emeritus status at Yale, Dr. Fenn began the research that would lead to his Nobel Prize; essentially he found a way to vaporize solutions containing large protein molecules, allowing them to then be identified by conventional mass spectrometry, a breakthrough that led to more rapid development and evaluation of new medications. Becoming professor of analytical chemistry at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in 1994, he was a faculty member there when he shared the Nobel in 2002, and when he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences later that same year. Essentiallty never retiring, he remained active at VCU into his 90s. Of his major discovery he said: "We learned to make elephants fly".

Bio by: Bob Hufford


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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: Bob Hufford
  • Added: 12 Dec 2010
  • Find a Grave Memorial 62862758
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Dr John Bennett Fenn (15 Jun 1917–10 Dec 2010), Find a Grave Memorial no. 62862758, citing Berea Cemetery, Berea, Madison County, Kentucky, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .