Crowdle Award

Crowdle Award

James H. Crowdle Award for Distinction in Chemistry

Crowdle etching image

Professor James H. Crowdle was an outstanding member of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Canisius College for over forty years, most of which he served as chairman. He was proud of having taught over 10,000 classroom students, freshman through graduate level, and he directed dozens of graduate research theses. He was simultaneously a powerful force in the creation of many campus-wide institutions; he co-founded The Griffin and he founded the DiGamma Honor Society.

This award was conceived shortly after Dr. Crowdle’s retirement and death in 1966. Its purpose is to recognize the achievements of the best graduates of this department and to honor the memory of one of our most respected colleagues. Faculty and students of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry select awardees based on their significant contributions to the fields of chemistry or biochemistry.

Crowdle Award Recipients:


Dr. David NalewajekDr. David Nalewajek (´74)
(PhD, University at Buffalo ´78)

Honeywell International, Inc. Buffalo  Honored for his research efforts in fluorine chemistry, especially the development of environmentally safer fluorocarbons.




Dr. Gerald ZonDr. Gerald Zon (´67)
(PhD, Princeton University ´71)

Director of Business Development, TriLink BioTechnologies.  Honored for his research efforts that led to the development of antisense agents, oligonucleotides that bind to mRNA and regulate gene expression, as a method of attacking diseases.

After majoring in chemistry at Canisius (1963-1967), Dr. Zon then studied organic chemistry at Princeton University where he received his PhD in 1971. That was followed by postdoctoral work at The Ohio State University until 1973 when Dr. Zon moved to The Catholic University of America as an Assistant Professor of Organic Chemistry. There he taught courses and mentored 7 doctoral candidates investigating novel silicon chemistry and, primarily, the anticancer drug cyclophosphamide. In 1980 he moved to the National Institutes of Health where he was Chief of Molecular Pharmacology in the Food & Drug Administration. There Dr. Zon set up an oligonucleotide synthesis facility to investigate inhibition of gene expression using new types of antisense oligonucleotides targeting mRNA. Dr. Zon subsequently commercialized antisense technology at Applied Biosystems during 1986-92 and then co-founded Lynx Therapeutics for clinical development of antisense drugs. In 1999 he rejoined Applied Biosystems where he became a Research Fellow focused on nucleic acid biotechnology. In 2011 Dr. Zon joined TriLink BioTechnologies where he is now Director of Business Development.

Click here to read Jerry’s “What’s trending in nucleic acid research” blog.


Professor David G. HangauerProfessor David G. Hangauer (´74)
(PhD, University at Buffalo ´80)

Professor Emeritus, Department of Chemistry, University at Buffalo. Honored for his work on the development of protein kinase inhibitors as anti-cancer drugs.

Professor Hangauer started his education at Canisius in 1970 as a pre-med student, but converted to a chemistry major in his sophomore year. After graduation he accepted a research position at a local polymer company for 2 years, after which he attended graduate school at The University at Buffalo, completing his PhD in natural product synthesis by 1980. He then accepted a position as a medicinal chemist at Merck in Rahway, NJ where he developed expertise in drug discovery and computer-aided-drug design. As a Buffalo native he was attracted back to Buffalo in 1989 to accept a position at the University at Buffalo as Associate Professor of Medicinal Chemistry. In his academic position his laboratory developed a new technology for the discovery of protein kinase inhibitors. He also served as a consultant or Scientific Advisory Board Member for many biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies worldwide. Professor Hangauer is the original founder of Kinex Pharmaceuticals (renamed Athenex Inc in 2015), a Buffalo biopharmaceutical company he started in 2002 as a spin out from his University laboratory research, that is largely focused on the discovery and development of novel drugs for cancer. After starting Kinex Pharmaceuticals, Professor Hangauer’s laboratory launched a new fundamental research program aimed at experimentally unraveling the detailed energetics of drugs binding to their receptors. In 2013 Professor Hangauer retired from his academic position to serve as the Chief Scientific Officer of Kinex Pharmaceuticals. As Emeritus Professor of Medicinal Chemistry and Chemistry, as well as Kinex’s CSO, Professor Hangauer and his former graduate students continue to publish their research on drug-receptor binding energetics. Kinex has its headquarters in Buffalo and has grown to include laboratories and offices at other locations in the US and Worldwide. Professor Hangauer is the inventor of two of Kinex’s cancer drugs that are currently in clinical trials in the US and abroad. He is an inventor or author on numerous patents and publications. He is also the recipient of numerous awards including the New York State Research Foundation Outstanding Inventor Award (2002), the Niagara Frontier 2007 Inventor of the Year, and the 2012 University at Buffalo Faculty Entrepreneur of the Year.


Professor Gerald WilemskiProfessor Gerald Wilemski (´68)
(PhD, Yale University ´72)

Professor, Department of Physics, Missouri University of Science and Technology. Honored for his use of thermodynamics and statistical mechanics in the study of a wide variety of chemical systems.




Professor William E Geiger Jr.Professor William E. Geiger Jr. (´65)
(PhD, Cornell ´69)

Professor Emeritus, Department of Chemistry, University of Vermont. Honored for his research in understanding the mechanisms involved in the electrochemical synthesis of molecular complexes.



Professor Bruno ZwolinskiProfessor Bruno Zwolinski (´41)
(PhD, Princeton ´47)

Professor Emeritus, Department of Chemistry, Texas A&M University. Honored for his leadership in measuring, gathering, evaluating and disseminating critical thermodynamic properties, as well as his contributions to the theory of chemical kinetics.



Professor Thomas J. DoughertyProfessor Thomas J. Dougherty (´55)
(PhD, Ohio State ´59)

Chief Emeritus, Photodynamic Therapy Center, Professor of Oncology, Roswell Park Cancer Institute. Honored for his studies of the concentration of dyes in tumorous tissues and his subsequent development of photodynamic therapy for cancer patients.



Professor Robert H. SchulerProfessor Robert H. Schuler (´46)
(PhD, Notre Dame ´49)

Professor Emeritus, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Notre Dame. Honored for his fundamental research in the kinetics of radiation–induced reactions via ESR and other forms of spectroscopy.



Professor Robert L. KuczkowskiProfessor Robert L. Kuczkowski (´60)
(PhD, Harvard ´64)

Professor Emeritus, Department of Chemistry, University of Michigan. Honored for his application of microwave spectroscopy to the study of reaction mechanisms, in particular applying Fourier transform microwave methods to the study of van der Waals complexes.



Professor Paul G. Gassman (´57)Professor Paul G. Gassman
(PhD, Cornell ´60)

Professor, Department of Chemistry, University of Minnesota. Honored for his research in the chemistry of strained ring compounds. He served as president of the American Chemical Society was a member of the National Academy of Sciences.