Latta Native Receives Tobacco Science Research Conference Policy Committee Lifetime Achievement Award

Latta native Bill (and Lib Gaddy) Coleman, has received the Tobacco Science Research Conference Policy Committee Lifetime Achievement Award in ceremonies held recently at the 75th Tobacco Science Research Conference in New Orleans. The purpose of the award is to honor a distinguished scientist for a lifetime of outstanding contributions to any and all aspects of tobacco science research or development. The Tobacco Science Research Conference is held annually wherein national and international scientists present seminars and papers on all aspects of tobacco research and development. Dr. Coleman is a 1965 graduate of Latta High School, having received a BS in Chemistry from the University of South Carolina in 1969 and a PhD in Chemistry from Virginia Tech in 1977 under the direction of Professor Larry T. Taylor.
Dr. Coleman began his professional career as a commissioned Naval officer (LTjg) with a tour at the Naval Environmental Health Center where he led a team in establishing the first accredited industrial hygiene laboratory for the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery. While building the laboratory around NIOSH approved methods, technologies for the analysis of unique military materials were also developed. For his efforts, LT Coleman accepted a fellowship to obtain his PhD at Virginia Tech and the Navy Achievement Medal. Upon receiving his degree, he was assigned to the Office of Naval Research, Naval Biosciences Laboratory. While stationed there, he conducted research into antifouling paint development, characterization of unique synthetic jet fuels, reversible oxygen carrying complexes, model systems for vitamin B12, and methodologies for the detoxification of military materials.
Upon leaving active duty (LCDR), Dr. Coleman accepted a position with the Dow Chemical Company where he led efforts in the creation of novel homogeneous and heterogeneous organometallic catalysts focused on the production of unique molecular weight distributions of polymers and copolymers of ethylene. He then accepted a position with R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company where he conducted research into the synthesis, purification and isolation of novel flavor compounds using non-food residual biomaterials as reagents. His career offered the opportunity to obtain hands-on expertise in a number of scientific disciplines including, reactions with air-sensitive materials; chemical and bio-transformation of biomass; laboratory and pilot scale isolation of value added components from processed biomass; extraction technologies such as super-critical fluid extraction, microwave-assisted extraction, liquid-liquid extractions, solid phase extraction, solid phase microextractions; separation techniques such as gas chromatography, liquid chromatography (laboratory, prep and production-scale), column chromatography; organic and inorganic compound synthesis methodologies; electrochemical conversion of inorganic species; and interpretation of data generated from mass spectrometry, infrared spectrometry, nuclear magnetic resonance, atomic emission, X-ray fluorescence and atomic absorption. Dr. Coleman was a team member for the first R&D 100 Award received by R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company for the invention of instrumentation capable of real time analysis of production plant emissions. The R&D 100 Award is given annually by R&D Magazine as one of the 100 most technologically significant new products of the year.
As part of his R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company R&D activities, Dr. Coleman actively participated in the conception and execution of the first production-scale domestic growth, harvest, extraction, and preparation of nicotiana flower-based flavors. As a member of a research team at RJRT, Dr. Coleman also participated in the first design and production scale bioconversion of residual tobacco biomass to value added products such as glucose and unique glucose-based flavors.
While employed with Dow Chemical and R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, Dr. Coleman maintained his active reserve commission, assigned as a scientific field officer for the Office of Naval Research, and retiring as a Commander.
Dr. Coleman has over 140 peer reviewed scientific publications, including five books and invited manuscripts and chapters within a number of monographs on subjects such as mechanisms in toxicology, ultra-trace quantitative analysis, and advances in chromatographic sciences. His career has included research posts in organometallic chemistry, catalytic chemistry, environmental chemistry, and natural product chemistries. He also holds 35 US Patents, numerous European and foreign patents, and has taught short courses in both gas chromatography, gas chromatography/mass spectrometry as well as a short course in descriptive organic chemistry. He retired from R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company as a Senior Principal Scientist.
Most recently, Dr. Coleman has consulted in the area of producing, via biocatalytic and chemical processes, value added materials from residual non-food biomass as well as the qualitative and quantitative characterization of novel flavors. His most recent interest has been in the quantitative analysis of nicotine and secondary alkaloid enantiomers. He is married to the former Linda Todd of Marion, SC. They have three children, Bill, IV (Asuka), Todd (Jamie), and Sara (Dean) as well as three grandchildren, Lola Jane Blumberg (Sara and Dean), Josie Cora Blumberg (Sara and Dean) and Otis Daniel Coleman (Todd and Jamie). They currently live in Conway, SC.

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