Texas Tech University

Horn Professor to Receive Top Award in Biochemistry

By: Toni Salama 

David Nes

It's early 1983, and two men are at a workbench in a government lab on the West Coast. They've been hard at their research six weeks straight, intent on providing clear evidence of a particular chemical pathway in a particular plant, and now they're there. They've done it.

That's when Thomas Bach knew he was watching a rising star in David Nes. Bach's memory isn't just of the scientific breakthrough but the humor of the scene itself.

"A funny remembrance worth mentioning is our sitting side-by-side in darkness at the bench, with green lamps on our heads, to work up etiolated wheat seedlings for incorporation and other experiments, as plants don't 'see' green light," said Bach, now professor emeritus at the University of Strasbourg, France.

W. David Nes, now a Paul Whitfield Horn Distinguished Professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry at Texas Tech University, stands ready to receive the 2019 Schroepfer Medal from the American Oil Chemists' Society (AOCS) for his contributions to the field of steroid and sterol chemical research.