Phil Lukeman


I am currently an Associate Professor at St. John’s University, in the Department of Chemistry.

I was inspired to do science and look at the world with a mixture of wonder and rationality by great teachers. My first teacher was my father – he was an analytical research chemist at ICI and Stork in the North West of England.
Whether my love of chemistry and dry humor was genetic or environmental in origin, there’s no doubt he’s the source of much of it.

At King David High School, Liverpool, I had a wonderful, acerbic, mischevious chemistry teacher, Tony Burrows. At Leicester University Chemistry, Bob Atkinson, Martin Harger and John Malpass inducted me into the joys of science research and organic chemistry. I went on an exchange year at Colorado State University Chemistry, where Louis Hegedus, Mike Elliott and Oren Anderson all made it very difficult for me to play hooky to go skiing – their passion and enthusiasm for science kept me in class and in the lab.
I went to Cambridge Unversity for my graduate work, where Jeremy Sanders provided a fantastic environnment to learn about molecular recognition and the joys of self-organization. For my postdoctoral work I went to NYU, working in the lab of Ned Seeman who taught me about nucleic acids, nanochemistry and naughty words.

I had my first 4 years of faculty fun, as an Assistant Professor at Cal Poly Pomona Chemistry.

To all of these teachers and many more unmentioned friends and colleagues, thankyou.

Before Enlightenment Tenure……….fell forest, bring beer.
After Enlightenment Tenure……..fell forest, bring beer.

Outside of science, I savour skiing, scrabble, self-deprecation and scouting singular scenery.
Apparently, I also appreciate alliterations.

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