ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY: the study of the chemical composition of natural and artificial materials


ELECTRON-TRANSFER MEDIATORS: chemical compounds that “transport” electrons to and from molecules to help speed up chemical reactions


INORGANIC CHEMISTRY: the study of inorganic compounds i.e. compounds made from non-living materials


MAGNETIC RESONANCE IMAGING (MRI): technology that uses electromagnetic radiation to produce images of the internal structures of the body


SQUARIC ACID: a compound with square-shaped molecules. It is often used as a building block in synthesising larger compounds.



Abbott Laboratories is one of the top 10 pharmaceutical companies in the world.

Lincoln Hall (Date of Birth: 14th Aug 1947)

Caribbean Icons in STI Vol 2

Professor Lincoln Hall gained a reputation within and outside of the Caribbean for his seminal research on squaric acid and the chemical compounds made from it.

Lincoln Hall was born in Siparia, Trinidad on 14th August 1947. He excelled at the Siparia Union Canadian Mission School and was skipped three times. He continued to do well at Iere High School and earned a teaching scholarship to attend The University of the West Indies (UWI), St. Augustine. He completed his bachelor’s degree at UWI in 1970, receiving first class honours in chemistry and upper second class honours in mathematics. He taught those subjects at St. George’s College, Barataria for the next five years, while studying for his master’s degree in inorganic chemistry at UWI.

In 1978, Hall began to lecture in chemistry at UWI, St. Augustine and earned his Doctor of Science (PhD) in Analytical Chemistry in 1985. He became Professor in 1993 and served as Head of the Inorganic Chemistry Department from 1992 to 2008. Two of his students won the Best Thesis Award.

In the 1980’s, Professor Hall participated in several studies on the effect of dangerous pollutants on Trinidad’s environment and population. He also spent years researching the organic compound, squaric acid, and deriving related chemical compounds from it, discovering 78 such compounds. In 1993, he received a Leverhulme Award to further his research at the Imperial College, University of London.

Professor Hall’s research on squaric acid derivatives focuses on the medical applications of these compounds, including MRI scanning, cancer treatment and diabetes diagnosis through measuring blood sugar. This latest phase of work led to the development of a series of electron-transfer mediators funded by UWI and Abbot Laboratories.

Professor Hall is a member of many scientific societies both in the USA and the UK including the Royal Society of Chemistry and the American Chemical Society.

His advice to budding scientists is that one should pursue research opportunities wherever they are found, including developed countries where research is funded and rewarded.