MML History

In 1983 Dr. Jack Katon and Dr. Gil Pacey were awarded a Shoupp Grant to explore the possibility of setting up the Molecular Microspectroscopy Laboratory at Miami University. Due to overwhelming support from companies such as Eli Lilly, Procter and Gamble and Sohio, the laboratory was built and operations began in October of 1984. Instrument manufactures that initially supported the laboratory included Analect Instruments, BioRad, Instruments, SA Inc. and the Perkin Elmer Corporation.

The laboratory was the first of its kind in the United States to integrate both infrared microspectroscopy, Raman microspectroscopy and optical microscopy in one central facility. Two goals that the laboratory met were to provide industry, government and academic researchers with state of the art technology to identify microscopic particles and to provide a training facility for those laboratories wishing to transfer the technology to their own site.

Since 1984 the laboratory has collaborated with over 450 scientific partners and has trained over 350 students in the art. The laboratories personnel have published over 94 scientific articles on methods development, instrument development and applications. Through the laboratories contract services over 2000 external reports have been filed.

Today the laboratory maintains its leadership position and remains state of the art with many imaging microscopes. Please visit our capabilities and research sections to learn more about the laboratory.


Laboratory Staffing

Dr. Jack Katon was the laboratories first director with Dr. Gil Pacey serving as its Associate Director. Two graduate students, Patty Lang and David Schiering ran samples for the clients. In 1985 Dr. Jerome OKeefe joined the facility as its first postdoctoral scientist and remained there until May of 1986. In June of 1986 Dr. Andre Sommer took over the postdoctoral position and soon became the laboratorys Assistant Director. During his tenure as the Assistant Director, Dr. Sommer helped build the facility into an internationally recognized laboratory that specializes in the molecular analysis of microscopic particles, or microscopic spatial domains on large samples. Upon Dr. Katons retirement in 1995, Dr Sommer was promoted to the facilities Director and Assistant Professor. Today Dr. Sommer still serves as the Director of the MML and Professor within the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.