Science Symposium

The Montana State University Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry will host a science symposium to mark MUS Regents Professor Patrik Callis’ 50 years of service to the university. The event is part of MSU’s yearlong celebration of its 125th anniversary, with April highlighting the achievements of faculty, students and staff in the College of Letters and Science.

The Callis Symposium” will kick off on Friday, April 6, with a seminar given by Callis at 4:10 p.m. in Gaines Hall 101. The event will continue from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Saturday, April 7, at the Museum of the Rockies’ Hager Auditorium and will feature 30-minute lectures given by 12 noted chemists and physicists from MSU and institutions around the country. Lunch will be provided between the morning and afternoon sessions.

The symposium was designed to honor MSU’s longest-tenured professor for his contributions to photochemistry, graduate and undergraduate education, the university and the state of Montana, as well as celebrate his 80th birthday, said Mary Cloninger, head of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry in MSU’s College of Letters and Science.

“Pat is an internationally recognized leader in the field of photochemistry,” Cloninger said. “Because his research has been so influential to the many scientists who work in this area, a science symposium that brings together experts to spend the day showcasing this research at Montana State feels like the most appropriate way to celebrate Pat's 50 years as an MSU faculty member.”

Callis joined the MSU faculty in 1968 as a physical chemist specializing in ultraviolet spectroscopy and an instructor of quantum chemistry. His research is in photophysics, the study of how light interacts with matter. For the past 50 years, Callis has conducted experimental and theoretical studies of the electronic structure of dyes and biological chromophores. A chromophore is the part of a visibly colored molecule responsible for its color.

He is especially well-known for his studies of the photochemistry of indole ring systems, a biological chromophore in the amino acid tryptophan, which may be best known for making people sleepy after eating turkey but which is actually present in all proteins.

Over the course of his career, Callis has written more than 100 papers published in leading scientific journals and has been cited by other scientists in more than 3,000 articles. He has presented his research in more than 160 seminars and has a sustained track record of funding that spans his career, including grants from the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.

In November, Callis was named a Montana University System Regents Professor, the most prestigious designation to be attained by a professor in the system. Other awards at MSU include the Charles and Nora L. Wiley Award for Meritorious Research and Creativity in 1990; what is now called the  Cox Faculty Award for Creative Scholarship and Teaching in 1992; the Phi Kappa Phi Anna Krueger Fridley Award for Distinguished Teaching in 1994, the Letters and Science Meritorious Research and Creativity Award in 2015; and the Outstanding Chemistry Teacher Award from MSU’s Undergraduate Chemistry Society, which he has received numerous times.

 “Pat is a fantastic colleague both within MSU and in the international chemistry community,” Cloninger said. “Everyone is very excited to honor his contributions to science and to MSU.”

Those who wish to attend the symposium should email Doreen Brown at in advance.

For more information about The Callis Symposium, including a list of speakers, a full schedule of events and registration and hotel information, go to


This event is over.

Sat. Apr. 7, 2018   8am-5pm

More Events Like This

Words Events

Bozeman Events Events

Bozeman Science Events

Museum of the Rockies
600 West Kagy Boulevard
Bozeman, MT 59717