Gary Krahenbuhl, emeritus professor and former dean of The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, describes the Moores’ contributions as well as challenges they overcame.

“They were faculty members who loved their work and pursued it in a quiet, persistent and inspired manner,” Krahenbuhl said. “They weren’t ones to 'toot their own horn,' but the importance and impact of their research spoke volumes about its significance. Their work on bio-inspired molecular systems, most notably photosynthesis, holds incredible promise for the green energy revolution. They have focused on the capture and storage of light energy with artificially created molecular systems that mimic those found in nature but (that) can be designed for dedicated purposes.

“Beyond their research, they were unique in at least two ways. In their early years, there were almost no married faculty couples where each had a tenured faculty position at ASU. Having both members of a married couple in the same department was virtually unheard of. It is a credit to them and to the department that they made this work, as such arrangements often face significant faculty resistance. Over time, they were both named as Regents Professors. There may be other married couples that hold this distinction, but I don’t know of any. This also makes them unique at ASU as an academic super couple.”

The Moores’ love for what they do and their love for each other has clearly contributed to their productivity. They continue to be active in photosynthetic research, but now are also collaborating to investigate proton transfer between molecules.

“We discuss things all of the time,” Ana said. “That’s what we like to do. We like what we are doing; otherwise, we would retire. We are being productive and helping develop the next generation of scientists through our postdocs.”

Gary Moore (no relation), a former student who received his PhD from ASU under Ana, is now himself a regarded professor and researcher at ASU. Having studied under the Moores, he provides perspective regarding their contributions: "Ana and Tom Moore have contributed pioneering discoveries in the areas of understanding, designing and controlling electron transfer pathways. The constructs they’ve envisioned over their careers have not only enabled conceptual advancements but are also synthetically and artistically beautiful. More recently, they’ve reinvented their research to focus on mastering the motions of protons. Their research continues to expand the frontiers of knowledge in the molecular sciences, and during their 45 years at ASU, has inspired generations of researchers. It’s a true pleasure to work with them. Their thoughtfulness, creativity and imagination appears boundless.”

SMS Director and longtime friend of the Moores Tijana Rajh added, “I have known Ana and Tom for many years, and one of the many benefits of coming to ASU has been to work more closely with them. ASU is fortunate to have Tom and Ana as members of the faculty. Their work is and will continue to be foundational to progress in many aspects of sustainability.”

James Klemaszewski

Science writer, School of Molecular Sciences