Tribute from B-MRS member to Prof. Larry Thompson.


[Text by Professor Petrus Santa Cruz (DQF/UFPE), B-MRS member.]

Behind and to the left, Petrus Santa Cruz (UFPE) next to Larry Thompson (UMD). At the front, Osvaldo Serra and Vitória Lakatos (USP) during the 40-year international cooperation “Larry Thompson and Brazil” workshop in 2009 at DQF/UFPE.
Behind and to the left, Petrus Santa Cruz (UFPE) next to Larry Thompson (UMD). At the front, Osvaldo Serra and Vitória Lakatos (USP) during the 40-year international cooperation “Larry Thompson and Brazil” workshop in 2009 at DQF/UFPE.

Some researchers make a difference in contributing for consolidating important areas of Science in Brazil. In the case of Professor Larry Clark Thompson, of the University of Minnesota-Duluth, he will always be remembered not only for his significance in the area of coordination compounds in the country, but also for his generosity. During the workshop “Larry Thompson and Brazil” held to celebrate 40 years of international cooperation in 2009, the beginning of his contributions to Brazilian science in 1970 was remembered, when he received professors Gilberto Sá (DQF/UFPE) and Oswaldo Serra (USP/Ribeirão Preto) in his group in the USA, resulting in collaborations that extended throughout his academic life.

Over the past 50 years, several episodes have been marked by his generosity.

In 2002 Professor Thompson participated in a thesis panel at DQF/UFPE on pioneering works in exploring the degradation of lanthanide complexes, which resulted in an innovative dosimeter device for measuring UV radiation, but before participating in the panel, Thompson hosted the doctoral student at his residence in Minnesota -Duluth, so that she could show him in his laboratory that the complexes actually degraded under the action of UV radiation, giving rise to a new line of research on devices for the prevention of skin cancer, currently explored for individual monitoring of vitamin D in a project of the Sibratec Nano program. Several other applications use as an active part the luminescent materials derived from his work.

Thompson was in Brazil for the last time in 2017, but unfortunately this year circumstances prevented the workshop “Larry Thompson and Brazil” of the 50 years of collaborations. He passed away at the age of 85 on August 15th, leaving behind many memories.