Bonner Denton is where he is — acclaimed Galileo professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of Arizona — thanks in part to a couple of mentors who showed him the way.
As grad school research advisors go, Howard Malmstadt was about as good as it gets, says Denton (Ph.D. ’72, chemistry), a fellow at the Royal Society of Chemistry, American Association for the Advancement of Science and American Chemical Society.
“Under his guidance, I was able to conduct investigations into a variety of fields destined to improve chemical analysis and launch my career as a professor,” Denton says. “Howard was a true mentor and an inspiration.”
Also on Denton’s most influential list: David Laker.
“At the time, he was the chief instrument builder/machinist in the chemistry department machine shop. I looked over his shoulder during his lunch break while he machined various personal projects.
“He shared his wisdom of how to properly perform a wide variety of machine shop operations. This truly allowed me to become both an instrument builder and a fabricator of high-performance race cars.
“While I was still a student, David borrowed my home machine shop and built the first instrument to be sold by SLM Instruments, which he and Dick Spencer founded in Urbana and later sold out to Milton Roy Co."