Professor Charles C. Sweeley

Professor Charles C. Sweeley was born in Williamsport, Pennsylvania in 1930. He received his B.S. in chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania and his Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Illinois. After five years at the National Institutes of Health, he launched his academic research career at the University of Pittsburgh. In 1968 he was recruited to East Lansing as Professor of Biochemistry at MSU. Dr. Sweeley served as Chair of this department from 1979-1985 and as Assistant Dean for Research, College of Human Medicine from 1973-1977.

Chuck Sweeley led the way in bringing technical advances in instrumentation to bear on important biochemical and medical questions. He founded the Mass Spectrometry Facility which served the MSU research community and the nation as a NIH sponsored Regional Facility. With Jack Holland and Mel Schindler, he co-founded Meridian Instruments. His "musical urinalysis" garnered international attention. His contributions in the application of gas chromatography and mass spectrometry to analysis and characterization of carbohydrates and lipids were recognized in 2001 when he received the Anachem Award from the Federation of Analytical Chemistry and Spectroscopy Societies.

Dr. Sweeley is nationally and internationally renowned for his pioneering research in the discovery of the structure of insect juvenile hormone, glycosphingolipid structure and metabolism related to Fabry's disease, glycolipid metabolism in normal and transformed cells, glycolipid tumor antigens, and metabolic profiling. He and his colleagues published more than 180 papers in peer-reviewed journals and more than 50 book chapters. He served on the editorial board of numerous journals including Journal of Lipid Research, Biochemistry, Biochemical Preparations, Lipids, Biomedical and Environmental Mass Spectrometry, Medical Biology, Journal of Biological Chemistry, Analytical Biochemistry, and Glycoconjugate Journal.

He also served often on grant review panels such as the NIH Medicinal Chemistry B Study Section and the American Cancer Society Advisory Council.

Many students benefited from rigorous and effective training under Dr. Sweeley's mentorship at Pitt and at MSU, including 3 M.S. students and 20 Ph.D. students. His laboratory attracted dozens of postdoctoral associates and visiting scientists from around the world.

His extraordinary accomplishments as a scientist, teacher, mentor and administrator have been honored by MSU in conferring a Distinguished Faculty Award (1986), the Michigan Scientist of the Year award (1988), and designation as a University Distinguished Professor (1990).

Dr. Sweeley retired to professor emeritus status in 1992, but had remained actively engaged in promoting biomedical research. His most recent endeavor was the formation of the Michigan Institute for Stem Cell Research, a nonprofit entity with the mission to foster the application of stem cells for treating human diseases including neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis, ALS, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases.

In honor of the achievements of Chuck Sweeley as a scientist and his impact on the scientific community at MSU, his many friends and colleagues have endowed this lectureship.