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Fred McLafferty

Professor Emeritus

Baker Laboratory, Room 256


Fred W. McLafferty

Peter J. W. Debye Professor, Emeritus                                               Phone: (607) 257-7893

Chemistry & Chemical Biology                                                          Email:

Cornell University, Baker Laboratory                                               

Ithaca, New York 14853-1301


BS 1943, MS 1947 (Chemistry), University of Nebraska.                                                          

PhD 1950 (Chemistry, W. T. Miller), Cornell University.                             

Postdoctorate 1949–50 (Chemistry, Ralph Shriner), University of Iowa.             

Professional Positions and Service

Leader, mass spectrometry and gas chromatography, Dow Chemical Co., Midland, MI (1950-6).

Director, Eastern Research Lab for basic research, Dow Chemical, Framingham, MA (1956-64).

Professor of Chemistry, Purdue Univ. (1964-68).

Professor of Chemistry, Cornell, 1968-; Peter J. W. Debye Professor, 1991; Emeritus, 1992.

National Research Council: Boards on Numerical Data, Radioactive Waste Management, and Chemical Sci. & Techn.; Pimentel’s Opportunities in Chemistry; and Panels on Separations Techn. & Transmutation Sys., Army Chem. Sci., and Chem. Defense (Chair).

World Bank: Chinese Universities Development Project (1983-7).

Amer. Chem. Soc: Chair, Anal. Chem. Divn.; Chair, Midland and Northeastern Sections; Editor, ACS Accounts of Chemical Research (1986-94).

Amer. Assoc. Adv. Sci.: Chair, Chemistry Section.

Advisory Boards: Chem., Brookhaven Natl. Lab (Chair); ACS Petrol. Res. Fund; NSF EPSCoR Idaho; Anal. Chem., Acc. Chem. Res., Chem. Revs., ACS Adv. Chem. Ser., Org. Mass Spectrom., Appl. Spectr. Rev., Computer & Chem., MS Revs., J. Am. Soc. MS, J. MS, J. MS Soc. Japan. 

Honors and Awards

U.S. National Academy of Sciences (1982).

American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1985).

Italian Academy of Sciences XL (2002).

Honorary DSc degrees: Universities of Nebraska (1983), Liege (1987), & Purdue (1995).

American Chemical Society: Awards in Chemical Instrumentation (1972), Analytical Chemistry (1981), Mass Spectrometry (1989), and Nakanishi Prize (with Chem. Soc. Japan) (2016).

New York ACS Section: Nichols Gold Medal (1984).

Spectroscopy Society of Pittsburgh Award (1975).

International Mass Spectrometry Society: J. J. Thomson Gold Medal (1985).

Pittsburgh Analytical Chemistry Award (1987).

University of Naples Gold Medal (1989).

Royal Society of Chemistry: Robert Boyle Gold Medal (1992).

Utrecht University: J. M. Bijvoet Medal (1997).

Czech Academy of Sciences: J. Heyrovsky Medal (1999).

Italian Chemical Society: G. Natta Gold Medal (2000).

Swedish Chemical Society: Torbern Bergman Medal (2001).

Am. Soc. Mass Spectrometry: Distinguished Contribution to Mass Spectrometry (2003).

French Chemical Society: Lavoisier Medal (2004).

International Association for Protein Structure: Pehr Edman Award (2006).

Eastern Analytical Symp: Outstanding Achievements in Mass Spectrometry (2012).

U.S. Army, S/Sgt.: Combat Infantry Badge, Purple Heart, Five Bronze Star (valor) Medals, Presidential Unit Citation (1943-5).

Recent Publications

506.     Narayan, M.; Welker, E.; Zhai, H.; Han, X.; Xu, G.; McLafferty, F. W.; Scheraga, H. A. Detecting native folds in mixtures of proteins that contain disulfide bonds, Nat. Biotechnol. 2008, 26, 427-429.

508.     Steinberg, M. Z.; Elber, R.; McLafferty, F. W.; Gerber; R. B. Breuker, K.  Early structural evolution of native Cytochrome c after solvent removal, ChemBioChem, 2008, 9, 2417-2423.

509.     Breuker, K.; Jin, M.; Han, X.; Jiang, H.; McLafferty, F. W. Top-Down Identification and Characterization of Biomolecules by Mass Spectrometry, J. Am. Soc. Mass Spectrom. 2008, 19, 1045-1053.

511.     Breuker, K.; McLafferty, F. W. Stepwise Evolution of Protein Native Structure with Electrospray into the Gas Phase, 10-12 - 102 s, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 2008, 105, 18145-18152.

512.     McLafferty, F. W. Mass Spectrometry across the Sciences, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 2008, 105, 18088-18089.

513.     Han, X.; Smith, N. L.; Sil, D; Holowka, D.; McLafferty, F. W.; Baird, B. A. IgE Receptor Mediated Alteration of Membrane-Cytoskeletal Interactions by Mass Spectrometric Analysis of Detergent-Resistant Membranes, Biochemistry, 2009, 48, 6540-6550.

514.     Kong, X.; Lin, C.; Infusini, G.; Oh, H.-B.; Jiang, H.; Breuker, K.; Wu, C.-C.; Charkin, O. P.; Chang, H.-C.; McLafferty, F. W. Numerous Isomers of Serine Octamer Ions Characterized by Infrared Photodissociation Spectroscopy, ChemPhysChem, 2009, 10, 2603-2606.

515.     McLafferty, F. W. Registry of Mass Spectral Data (and Registry combined with NIST), 9th Ed.,Wiley-Blackwell: Hoboken, N. J., 2009; 662,000 (796,000) spectra of 592,000 (667,000) compounds with 565,000 searchable structures.

516.     McLafferty, F. W.; Castro, S.; Breuker, K. Multistep Evolution of Protein Conformation on Electrospray into the Gas Phase, Eur. J. Mass Spectrom., 2010, 16, 437-442.

517.     McLafferty, F. W. A Century of Progress in Molecular Mass Spectrometry, Annu. Rev. Anal. Chem. 2011, 4, 1-22.

518.     Breuker, K.; Skinner, O. S.; McLafferty, F. W.  Femtosecond laser vaporization preserves protein folded structure: an unproven idea. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 2012, 109, E206.

519.     Skinner, O. S.; Breuker, K.; McLafferty, F. W.  How Ubiquitin Unfolds after Transfer into the Gas Phase. J. Am. Soc. Mass Spectrom. 2012, 23, 1011-1014.

520.     Begley, T. P.; Ealick, S. E.; McLafferty, F. W. Thiamin Biosynthesis: Still Yielding Fascinating Biological Chemistry. Biochem. Soc. Trans. 2012, 40, 555-560.  

521.     Skinner, O. S.; Breuker, K.; McLafferty, F. W.  Charge Site Spectra:  Conformation-Sensitive Components of the Electron Capture Dissociation Spectrum of a Protein. J. Am. Soc. Mass Spectrom. 2013, 24, 807-810.


  • Chemistry and Chemical Biology