ASMS News & Views

Mar 29, 2017

Donald F. Hunt Awarded the 2017 ACS Award in Analytical Chemistry

Donald F. Hunt, University Professor of Chemistry and Pathology at the University of Virginia, has been awarded the 2017 American Chemical Society (ACS) Award in Analytical Chemistry, for his ‘pioneering efforts to develop mass spectrometry methods and instrumentation that facilitated characterization of peptides and proteins and provided the foundation for the field of proteomics’. The award, sponsored by Battelle Memorial Institute, was presented at the 253rd ACS National meeting held April 2-6, 2017 in San Francisco, CA.

Professor Hunt joined the faculty at the University of Virginia as an assistant professor in September 1968, and was promoted to associate professor and full professor in 1973 and 1978, respectively. In 1993, he was promoted to the rank of University Professor with appointments in both Chemistry and Pathology. Prior to assuming these positions, he spent a year at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as a National Institute of Health Postdoctoral Trainee in Mass Spectrometry under the guidance of Professor Klaus Biemann. He obtained both his B.S. and Ph.D. (1967) degrees from the University of Massachusetts. Over the past four decades, Professor Hunt has pioneered efforts to develop mass spectrometry instrumentation and methods that set the standard for ultrasensitive detection and characterization of proteins and peptides. These contributions continue to underpin the whole field of proteomics and have had a dramatic impact on research in immunology, cell signaling, cell migration, epigenetics and cancer. In 1981-82, Professor Hunt was chosen as a recipient of both an NIH Fogarty Senior International Fellowship and a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship. In 1990, he received the Charles H. Stone Award sponsored by the ACS. In 1992 he was named Virginia’s Outstanding Scientist and also received the Pehr Edman Award for outstanding achievements in the application of mass spectrometry to the contemporary microsequence analysis of proteins. He received the ASMS Award for a Distinguished Contribution in Mass Spectrometry in 1994. In 1996 he was the first recipient of the Christian B. Anfinsen Award from the Protein Society for development of new technology in the field of protein chemistry. He received the Chemical Instrumentation Award sponsored by the ACS in 1997. In 2000, Professor Hunt was the recipient of both the Frank H. Field and Joe L. Franklin award presented by the ACS for outstanding achievement in the field of mass spectrometry and the Thomson Medal from the International Mass Spectrometry Society. He received Distinguished Accomplishment Awards from the Human Proteome Organization (HUPO) in 2006 and the Association of Biomolecular Resource Facilities in 2007. He was elected as a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2014. Professor Hunt is a co-inventor on more than 30 patents and patent applications and has more than 390 scholarly publications to his credit. Throughout his career, Professor Hunt has trained more than 130 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.