Chemistry’s NMR Facilities dedicated to late Professor Arno Spatola

Faculty, students and alumni gathered on April 13 for the dedication of the Chemistry department’s NMR facilities.  The newly renovated and equipped laboratory facilities were dedicated in honor of Professor Arno Spatola, who taught Chemistry at UofL for 30 years before his untimely death in 2003.

Chemistry facilities have undergone extensive renovations and equipment upgrades thanks to a $2 million grant from the Department of Defense and Department of Energy. $1 million dollars of these federal funds enabled the department to upgrade the nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) facility with two new Varian spectrometers: “a 400MR system complete with robotic sample changer, and a high field 700 MHz NMR and cyroprobe, truly pushing the NMR facility into the forefront of NMR research in the 21st century,” according to department chair Richard Wittebort.

During his career, Dr. Spatola authored over 130 scientific publications, gave numerous conference presentations, was awarded 5 patents, received nearly $4 million in research funding and directed the work of more than 40 M.S., Ph.D., and postdoctoral students.  

In 1983, he founded Peptides International, Inc., and remained President and CEO until his death. It was the first company in Kentucky to win an NSF/SBIR grant. In 1996, he helped found the Institute for Molecular Diversity and Drug Design, or IMD3. In April 2003, he was recognized by UofL with the President’s Award for Outstanding Scholarship, Research and Creativity.