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Memoir

Richard H. Sands
Regents' Proceedings 294

Richard H. Sands, research scientist in the Biophysics Research Division and professor of physics, will retire from active faculty status on May 31, 1994, after a distinguished career as a researcher and teacher.

A native of California, Professor Sands received his B.S. degree from the University of Redlands in 1950 and his Ph.D. degree from Washington University (St. Louis) in 1954. Professor Sands came to the University of Michigan in 1957 as assistant professor of physics, and together with Professor Peter Franken established a pioneering program in atomic physics. He was promoted to associate professor in 1960 and professor in 1965, and has been associated with the Biophysics Research Division since its inception in 1964.

Professor Sands is a renowned spectroscopist who has pioneered the applications of spectroscopy to studies of proteins. In 1959, with Helmut Beinert, he made the first electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) measurements on a protein involved in oxidation-reduction (redox) reactions. During the course of his career, he has developed or initiated a number of techniques, including highpower electron-nuclear double resonance (ENDOR), wide-band electron-electron double resonance (ELDOR), and multi-frequency EPR spectroscopy. For the past 20 years, his laboratory has been one of the leaders in applications of Mossbauer spectroscopy to the study of metalloproteins. One of Professor Sands' outstanding achievements was the elucidation of the structure of the active center of the two-iron ferredoxins by spectroscopic analyses-an effort that combined information from magnetic susceptibility, EPR, ENDOR, Mossbauer, and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) methods to give an accurate picture of the atomic and electronic structure of [2Fe-2S] centers. Professor Sands has also made crucial contributions to the knowledge of molecular structure and function in several other subclasses of redox proteins, including the cytochromes and flavoproteins.

In addition to his research activities, Professor Sands served as chair of the Department of Physics from 1977-82 and provided a variety of service for the graduate school, University-wide committees, the Program in Biophysics, and IST. He has also brought his great energies to bear on both undergraduate and graduate teaching at all levels. He has chaired 20 Ph.D. dissertation committees and has consistently taught at the freshman/sophomore level.

The Regents now salute this distinguished scientist/educator for his dedicated service by naming Richard H. Sands research scientist emeritus and professor emeritus of physics.