Donald Frederick Hunt, a professor of chemistry at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, has been chosen as the state of Virginia's outstanding scientist of 1992. Hunt was introduced to the state's General Assembly on February 26 and was honored at a March 30 ceremony at the Science Museum of Virginia in Richmond. Also honored were Joseph Larner, a professor of pharmacology at the university's Health Sciences Center, who was given a lifetime achievement award, and William O. Bourke, chairman and CEO of Reynolds Metals Co. of Richmond, who was named the outstanding industrialist of the year.

In 1981, Hunt and colleagues pioneered the use of tandem mass spectrometry--an arrangement of two spectrometers in series--to determine the structure of proteins. The protein is first degraded using standard biochemical techniques into a group of peptides, each containing up to 25 or 30 amino acids. Each peptide is placed in the mass spectrometer,...

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