Pioneers of Science Award Recipients:

2011    2008      2006      2004   2002

Our 2011 Pioneers:
George H. Nancollas, Ph.D.
a physical chemistry Professor at the University at Buffalo since 1965 and since 1989 a SUNY Distinguished Professor. His development of the constant composition method for careful, physically based fundamental studies of biological crystallization has made true breakthroughs in the understanding of complex minerals like hydroxyapatite, and in understanding the fundamental roles of biological molecules on crystallization growth of natural materials. He is honored with his student: (Allison A. Campbell, Ph.D.)
Allison A. Campbell, Ph.D.
co-invented a bio-inspired process to "grow" a bioactive calcium phosphate layer, from the molecular level, onto the surfaces of artificial joint implants (total hip and knee) to extend implant life and reduce rejection. She is also known for her work in understanding the role of proteins in the biomineralization process such as tooth formation and decay and is the holder of 5 US Patents.
Michael F. Sheridan, Ph.D.
UB Distinguished Professor Emeritus, has dedicated his four-decade career to mitigating geologic catastrophes and saving lives. An internationally revered volcanologist, Sheridan continues to conduct his research assessing risks to populations living near volcanoes all over the globe – from Ecuador and Siberia to Italy and Mexico. He is a pioneer in developing some of the first computational tools to help researchers estimate how far and how fast ash and lava flowing from eruptions will travel. Sheridan also travels to areas where other geologic disasters, such as mudslides, are a concern. His research at such famous volcanoes as Vesuvius in Italy and Colima in Mexico has made headlines around the world, and his work as a volcanic-hazards expert has impacted the lives of thousands who live adjacent to active volcanoes.
Ronald A. Poling, Ph.D.
is Professor and Head of the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Minnesota. A graduate of UB, he studies the production and decay of heavy-quark states in electron-positron annihilations. Professor Poling was one of the pioneers in producing and using the heavy bottom or b quark to study how quarks interact and to explore differences between matter and anti-matter interactions. The rare b quark is much heavier than the more common quarks making up the proton and neutron and its interactions provide a window on the fundamental physics that shaped the Universe.  As a graduate student analyzing data from the CLEO experiment at Cornell, Poling was one of a team of a few physicists who first observed a b quark decay.  His later results and his contributions as a leader of CLEO helped demonstrate the importance of the rare and short-lived b quarks and led to the construction of new experiments around the world.
William F. Milliken, Jr.
former head of Cornell Aeronautical Lab (now CALSPAN), pioneered measuring aircraft dynamics in flight using automatic control techniques, accomplishing the first frequency response measurements. He was recently honored for seven decades of outstanding technical accomplishments in the field of vehicle dynamics. He was a celebrated race car driver, competing in over 100 road races. He is a founding member of Watkins Glen Road Races where a corner was named “Milliken’s Corner” for him. At 100 years old, he still actively consults with racing and chassis engineers the world over.
Ian Shankland, Ph.D.
is a synthetic chemist who, while working at Allied Chemical in Buffalo, developed a new generation of refrigerants to replace ozone-depleting refrigerants which were phased out starting in 1978 as they were blamed for the hole in the ozone layer. For this work he was awarded the 2008 Perkin Medal, the Chemical Industry’s highest award. He is now Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at Honeywell.
wilcove David S. Wilcove, Ph.D.
Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Public Affairs, Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University has authored two books, The Condor’s Shadow: The Loss and Recovery of Wildlife in America (1999) and No Way Home: The Decline of the World’s Great Animal Migrations (2007). As Senior Ecologist at the Wilderness Society, he developed the scientific foundation for the Society’s arduous and successful campaign to protect the ancient forests of the Pacific Northwest. Wilcove was born and raised in Buffalo. Following his graduation from Nichols, he received his BA from Yale and his MA and PhD from Princeton.
Our Posthumous Pioneers:
David Harker, Ph.D.
(1906-1991) was a student of Linus Pauling at Cal Tech. He made seminal contributions to the science of chemical crystallography. He determined the first protein crystal structure in the US at Roswell Park Cancer Institute. He received the Aminoff award from the Swedish Academy in 1984.
Sir John C. Eccles, M.D.
(1903-1997) received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1963 for work on the synapse. He was at UB from 1968-1975. Eccles was key to a number of important developments in neuroscience. Eccles first believed that synaptic transmission was primarily electrical rather than chemical, and later took part in experiments which proved chemical synaptic transmission.
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