Harden M. McConnell
Election Year: 1965
Primary Section: 14, Chemistry
Secondary Section: 29, Biophysics and Computational Biology
Membership Type: Member
Dr. Harden McConnell's early contributions were in the area of magnetic resonance spectroscopy. He is noted for his pioneering theoretical work on applications of NMR to molecular electronic structure and chemical kinetics, and for providing the links between valence bond theory, molecular orbital theory, electron spin distributions, and the paramagnetic resonance spectra of organic free radicals. He has made important contributions in various areas of solid state chemistry, including the concept of triplet exitons, and descriptions of the electronic structures of free radicals produced by radiation damage in organic crystals. In the mid 1960s, his interest turned to the interface between chemistry and biology. He introduced a new biophysical technique, spin-labeling. In the ensuing years he has used this technique to study the molecular dynamics of biological membranes, including the earliest measurements of lipid diffusion. Most recently, McConnell has been concerned with the physical chemistry of antigen recognition by lymphocytes. He has nonetheless remained active in more traditional areas of physical chemistry, maintaining a vigorous program in theoretical and experimental studies of Langmuir-Blodgett films. Dr. McConnell is the founder of Molecular Devices Corporation, a manufacturer of biosensor and bioanalytical instrumentation.