WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Three Purdue University professors have been elected members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the nation's oldest and most prestigious honorary societies.

R. Graham Cooks, the Henry Bohn Hass Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and a member of the Purdue Center for Cancer Research; Joseph Francisco, the William E. Moore Distinguished Professor of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences and Chemistry; and Freydoon Shahidi, Distinguished Professor of Mathematics, will be inducted into the 2010 class at a ceremony on Oct. 9 at the academy's headquarters in Cambridge, Mass.

"The academy celebrates cutting-edge research and leadership in the sciences, social sciences, humanities and public affairs, and we are proud that three Purdue faculty members have been recognized for their unique contributions to the fields of chemistry and mathematics," said Purdue President France A. Córdova, who was elected as a member of the academy in 2008. "Professors Cooks, Francisco and Shahidi will further strengthen the academy's endeavors to address emerging social and intellectual issues through interdisciplinary research."

R. Graham Cooks


Cooks is a pioneer in the field of ambient ionization and tandem mass spectrometry. He developed a desorption electrospray ionization technique, called DESI, that eliminated the need for samples to be chemically manipulated and contained in a vacuum chamber for analysis. DESI paved the way for faster, far more portable devices, and Cooks and his colleagues have applied the technology to societal issues ranging from food safety to airport security and the determination of cancerous cells. Cooks also has created miniature mass spectrometers and leads Purdue's Center for Analytical Instrumentation Development.

A complete list of new members is available on the academy's website at or on Purdue's website at

Writer:  Elizabeth Gardner, 765-494-2081,

Sources:   R. Graham Cooks, 765-494-5263, 
                 Joseph Francisco, 765-494-7851, 
                 Freydoon Shahidi, 765-494-1917,