Dec 4, 2006 — Dr. Cynthia M. Friend, T.W. Richards Professor of Chemistry, professor of materials science, and chair of the department of chemistry and chemical biology at Harvard University, presented the 16th Ira Kukin Chemistry Lecture, “The Wonderful World of Surfaces,” at Yeshiva University on Monday, December 4.

The lecture, among a series at YU given by renowned scientists, is supported by Dr. Ira Kukin, vice chairman of the university’s board of trustees and former chairman of its committee on academic affairs.

Dr. Friend began her academic career in the chemistry department at Harvard University in 1982, after completing her Ph.D. in chemistry at the University of California in 1981 and after a year of postdoctoral research at Stanford University.

In her research, Dr. Friend has focused on the fundamentals of reactions at metal surfaces, combining her background in organometallic and physical chemistry. She has built a world-class laboratory in surface chemistry and has been a leader in the field of organometallic surface chemistry, making many singular, significant contributions worthy of recognition.

“The students not only had the opportunity to attend the lecture and to be introduced to the theoretical basis of Dr. Friend’s research but also to realize the applications of her work in important aspects of every day life, such as automobile pollution control,” said Dr. Lea Blau, a chemistry professor at Stern College for Women and coordinator of the Kukin lecture series.

Dr. Friend’s current research interests span studies of nanotechnology for electronic and catalytic applications, heterogeneous catalysis for development of alternative energy sources and pollution control, and uncovering pathways for the origins of life. Her work has been recognized by a number of national awards, including the Garvan Medal of the American Chemical Society.

“For some of the younger students, this was the first instance to attend such a major chemistry lecture,” Dr. Blau said. “For the more advanced students, it was extremely rewarding to realize how much chemistry they learned through the years and thus are able to follow and understand all details of the presentation.”