Professor Jonas is a physical chemist who conducted high-pressure studies of the dynamic structure of liquids and biological systems. His research interests included physical chemistry, nuclear magnetic resonance, Raman and Rayleigh spectroscopy, high-pressure studies of the dynamic structure of liquids and proteins, and organizational aspects of academic multidisciplinary research. He was director of the School of Chemical Sciences from 1974 to 1993 and the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology from 1993 to 2001.
His awards include the American Chemical Society’s Joel Henry Hildebrand Award in the Theoretical and Experimental Chemistry of Liquids, Senior U.S. Scientist Award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation of Germany, and Doctor Honoris Causa from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In 2003 he was elected to the American Philosophical Society. He has held fellowships from, among others, the Alfred P. Sloan and J.S. Guggenheim foundations. From 1985 to 1988 he was a University Senior Scholar at UIUC. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, American Association for the Advancement of Science, and American Physical Society. To date he has published more than 300 scientific articles.