Photo of Gerald Buchanan

Gerald Buchanan

Chancellor's Professor Emeritus

Degrees:Ph.D. (Western Ontario)

Gerald Buchanan received his Honours BSc in Chemistry from the University of Western Ontario (UWO) in 1965. His PhD was obtained from UWO in 1969, under the direction of Professor J.B. Stothers, with a specialization in the Applications of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Spectroscopy to Problems in Organic Stereochemistry.

Subsequently he was awarded a National Research Council of Canada Postdoctoral Fellowship and studied at the University of California Los Angeles in 1969-70. During this time, he was involved in the fabrication of one of the world’s first Multinuclear Superconducting NMR Spectrometers, under the direction of Professor F.A.L. Anet.

Following a year as a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Windsor, he joined the Chemistry Department at Carleton University in 1971. His early research, funded by the Canadian Cancer Society, involved the 13C NMR spectral study of a series of carcinogenic polynuclear hydrocarbons. Subsequently his group became more involved in the synthesis of new compounds, particularly organophosphorus and organosulfur materials. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 1975.

In 1976, he obtained a Faculty of Science Research Achievement Award, followed by a Faculty of Science Teaching Achievement Award in 1977.

In a sabbatical year 1979-80, he was awarded the French National Chair in Chemistry and taught and carried out research at the Universite Louis Pasteur in Strasbourg, in the laboratory of Nobel Laureate Jean-Marie Lehn.

Upon his return to Carleton, he was promoted to Full Professor in 1982 and began extensive research in the field of Molecular Recognition, using crown ethers as models for enzyme activity. A second sabbatical was carried out at the University of Nottingham in 1986, as a British Council Research Fellow.

Additional Faculty of Science Research Achievement and Teaching Achievement awards were obtained in 1988 and 1990.

From 1993-96, he served as Director of the Ottawa Carleton Chemistry Institute, and subsequently served as Chairman of the Department of Chemistry from 1997 to 2006. For the period 2001 -2003, he was Chairman of the Ontario University Chemistry Chairs Committee.

In 2003-4, Professor Buchanan was a winner of the Carleton University Teaching Achievement Prize, with a value of $15,000. In 2004, he was named Chancellor’s Professor, in recognition of outstanding contributions to the University.

He retired from full time teaching and research in 2008, having published 148 papers in refereed journals and lectured widely in Canada and abroad. His contributions were primarily in the fields of Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy and Magnetic Resonance Imaging. His final paper, in collaboration with Igor Moudrakovski of the National Research Council, involved the use of 19F Magnetic Resonance Imaging using Vesicles of Sucrose Octaoleate-F104, and has application for in vivo imaging of the human gastrointestinal tract. J. Fluorine Chem. 129, 137-138 (2008)

Since his retirement, he has remained active in teaching, with particular interest in communicating aspects of Chemistry to more general audiences. This has involved the development, with Professor R.H Wightman, of a course on the Chemistry of Food Drugs and Health (CHEM 1003) which has been delivered on television as well as the Internet. More recently, he has developed a new course entitled Drugs and the Human Body (CHEM 1004) which began in 2013 using multimedia methods. At present he is teaching a section of the first year Science Seminar course NSCI 1000.