Page 4 - UD Research Magazine Vol5-No1
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APutting research in motion ... for you
s a fellow chemist, I’ve long As university researchers, we increasingly admired Richard Heck, UD’s do our work in collaboration with others Willis F. Harrington Professor and in lots of places. In the lab. In the library.
Emeritus, who won the Nobel Prize in In the field—from the seafloor to outer
Chemistry in 2010. He didn’t let ob- stacles that cropped up during his early career in industry become permanent barriers in his quest to discover new chemical reactions.
In Brown Lab at UD in the 1970s,
Heck adroitly pursued his passion and
ultimately invented the chemical reaction
we know as the Heck Reaction. Simply
put, it links together carbon atoms that
ordinarily wouldn't meet up. The Heck
Reaction helps produce many of the
world’s medicines today. It made DNA
sequencing and the Human Genome Project possible, and it is being used to develop new, energy-saving electronics. In short, the Heck Reaction has been a life-changing and life-saving discovery.
Nationally, discussions of university research often echo the title of the latest face-off movie: basic versus applied research, science and engineering versus the humanities, federal funding versus corporate funding, peer-reviewed publication production versus inventions, and so on. These are false dilemmas. The fact is, we the people need all of it. And like the bonding of Heck’s divergent atoms, it’s clear that great good can come from bringing together different forces, perspectives and fields.
space. In the marketplace—where new inventions are grown. And most certainly, directly with the public, on local to international levels. UD’s recent selection to receive the Community Engagement classification from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching reflects our commitment to do impactful work far beyond academia’s ivy-covered walls.
UD has hundreds of projects under- way with community partners. Many of these efforts are research-based, involving our students as problem solvers alongside
community residents and agencies. You may have read about these efforts in past issues of this magazine and in the national media—from Professor Mary Dozier’s Infant Caregiver Project, focusing on enhancing the develop- ment of children who have experienced adversity early in their lives, to Professor Yasser Payne’s Participatory Action Research, which involves residents as research assistants in uncovering the underlying causes of crime in Wilmington’s Eastside and Southbridge communities.
You’ll learn about a number of other efforts in the pages ahead, and in the issues to come. After all, you’ll find UD researchers in high-tech labs to busy community centers. But ultimately, our impact comes down to you.
Charles Riordan, Ph.D.
Deputy Provost for Research and Scholarship

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