The research publications of two University of Lethbridge chemistry professors have made the Canadian Journal of Chemistry’s (CJC) lists of most-cited papers from the last 20 years and the 100 most-cited papers ever published by the journal.
Dr. Andrew Hakin, U of L provost and vice-president (academic) and a professor of chemistry, was the lead author of a 1994 study that looked at some fundamental thermodynamic properties of aqueous solutions of selected amino acids, the building blocks of proteins.
“This was a total surprise. It’s always nice to see one of your papers become one of the most-cited in the last 20 years,” says Hakin. “People refer to properties we reported again and again so I’m pleased we made such a meaningful contribution.”
Other authors of the paper include Dr. Michelle (Duke) Hogue, then an academic assistant in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and now a professor in the First Nations Transition Program, Robert McKay, also an academic assistant at the time, now retired, and current U of L senator, and two then undergraduate students, Sheri A. Klassen and Kathryn E. Preuss.
“It was the beginning of a series of papers on the thermodynamic properties of aqueous solutions of amino acids,” says Hakin. “We started to measure densities, from which you get volumes and heat capacities, to a very high degree of precision. The work is being referenced because they have become the values that people use. People have referred to them again and again.”On the list of the 100 most-cited papers ever published by the CJC is a 1969 paper by Dr. Loren Hepler, a founding chemistry professor at the U of L. After leaving the U of L, Hepler became a faculty member at the University of Alberta and Hakin joined his research group as a post-doctoral fellow in 1987. After the fellowship, Hakin joined the U of L.
“The equipment that Hepler used when he was in Lethbridge is what I used with the amino acid studies,” says Hakin. “I’m delighted that two professors associated with the U of L Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry have been recognized in this way.”