2004 ACS NATIONAL AWARD WINNERS | January 26, 2004 Issue - Vol. 82 Issue 4 | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 82 Issue 4 | pp. 58-63 | Awards
Issue Date: January 26, 2004

2004 ACS NATIONAL AWARD WINNERS

Recipients are honored for contributions of major significance to chemistry
Department: ACS News

Following is the fourth set of vignettes of recipients of awards administered by the American Chemical Society for 2004. C&EN will publish the vignettes of the remaining recipients in successive February issues. An article on Elias J. Corey, 2004 Priestley Medalist, is scheduled to appear in the March 29 issue of C&EN along with his award address.

Most of the award recipients will be honored at an awards ceremony, which will be held on Tuesday, March 30, in conjunction with the 227th ACS national meeting in Anaheim, Calif. However, the Arthur C. Cope Scholar awardees will be honored at the 228th ACS national meeting in Philadelphia, Aug. 22–26.

 

ACS Award for Encouraging Women into Careers in the Chemical Sciences

Sponsored by the Camille & Henry Dreyfus Foundation Inc.

Armour
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Armour

Margaret-Ann Armour, chemistry professor at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, has worked tirelessly for more than three decades on behalf of young women with the result that chemistry has become a much more welcoming science to women than before. Among the many activities that have led to the current honor is her founding of WISEST (Women in Scholarship, Engineering, Science & Technology) in 1981, a program based in Edmonton that raises awareness among school-aged girls, educators, parents, and employers of the importance of encouraging women to enter science and engineering, especially chemistry.

When one meets this tall, slim, vivacious Scotswoman, one instantly knows what the word "tireless" means. Armour radiates energy and warmth. She rises early, retires late, and finds time not only to be a mentor to women of all ages but also to be assistant chair of the chemistry department and conduct research on finding methods to dispose of small quantities of hazardous chemicals.

Armour was born in Newton Mearns, Scotland, in 1939. When her father died in World War II, her mother returned to teaching and moved to a tiny hamlet in northern Scotland. Armour attributes her interest in chemistry to the fact that her mother was a great baker and let her daughter bake when she was only five years old. "This led to a lot of curiosity," Armour recalls. "Why couldn't I eat the dough? What was the change that happened during baking? I felt science and chemistry would provide the answers." Today, Armour's delectable shortbread, often served at seminars, is the talk of Edmonton.

Armour received her B.Sc. in chemistry from the University of Edinburgh, in Scotland, in 1961. She worked as a research chemist in a paper mill for five years in Penicuik, Scotland, and earned her master's degree from Edinburgh in 1966 for research carried out in the paper mill. She received her Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Alberta in 1970. She joined the university after postdoctoral stints at Edinburgh and Alberta.

WISEST grew out of the realization of Gordin Kaplan, the University of Alberta's first vice president of research, that there were few women in the sciences. "He wanted me to pull together a group that would encourage women into the sciences," Armour says. "I thought I had been doing that all my life." WISEST has developed numerous innovative programs that reach out to women of various ages.

In addition to her work with WISEST, Armour is active in local community work, organizing conferences on women in chemistry in Canada and elsewhere and writing prolifically on the subject. "I never met anyone in my entire life who has done as much as Margaret-Ann Armour to encourage young women to explore chemistry as a career," says Mary Fairhurst, analytical resource leader at Dow Chemical, Canada. "Her leadership and commitment to education as a whole, and to young women in particular, has inspired many of us in local industry to become more involved in these issues."

Armour has received many honors, including the McNeil Medal of the Royal Society of Canada for outstanding contribution to the public awareness of science (1994). One honor that Armour holds dear is the Canadian Governor General's Award in Commemoration of the Persons Case in 2002. The Persons Case was brought by five Alberta women in 1927. They asked the Supreme Court of Canada to declare that women were persons under the meaning of the British North America Act and therefore eligible to be appointed to the Canadian Senate. After being turned down by the Supreme Court, the women appealed to the British Privy Council, then Canada's highest court of appeals, and on Oct. 18, 1929, the council declared that women are indeed persons. Five women in Canada are honored each year with the award named after this case.

The award address will be presented as part of a Division of Chemical Education symposium.--MADELEINE JACOBS

 

Elias J. Corey Award for Outstanding Original Contribution in Organic Synthesis by a Young Investigator

Sponsored by the Pfizer Endowment Fund

Fu
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Fu

Gregory C. Fu's work spans numerous aspects of catalysis and is lauded for "elegance" and an "exceptional creativity of design." With the preparation and application of several classes of new catalysts, the 40-year-old professor of chemistry at Massachusetts Institute of Technology has demonstrated his impressive skills in organometallic chemistry and organic synthesis.

The development of chiral nucleophilic catalysts is a fundamental problem of central importance to asymmetric catalysis. Fu approached this problem using planar-chiral heterocyclic transition-metal complexes. Fu's system incorporates "tunable" steric and electronic characteristics, enabling modification for a variety of different nucleophilic transformations and optimization through an iterative process of testing and refinement. Fu has successfully used these catalysts to achieve a variety of important synthetic transformations, including the kinetic resolution of secondary alcohols and amines, the asymmetric addition of several classes of nucleophiles to ketenes, and enantioselective C-acylation reactions.

In the past few years, Fu has also made important contributions in the area of palladium-catalyzed C–C bond-forming reactions, developing highly active catalysts for reactions of aryl halides (including chlorides) and of alkyl halides.

In addition, Fu invented a Bu3SnH-catalyzed Barton-McCombie deoxygenation process that increases the practicality of this important method, converting it into a catalytic reaction where the levels of tin are low. In the area of tin catalysis, he has developed methods for the reductive cyclization of enones; the conjugate reduction of enones; and the reduction of nitroalkanes, azides, and imines.

One colleague notes that "what is most striking about Fu's work is the scholarship that goes into the design and planning. His approach is the opposite of the current trend of combinatorial approaches. He learns all the literature and then creatively assembles it to produce spectacular new reactions."

"He has focused his attention on what is important," another colleague says. "His work clearly demonstrates his understanding of the need to develop chemistry that has been and will continue to be used by others while simultaneously being conceptually innovative."

Fu earned a B.S. in chemistry from MIT in 1985 and a Ph.D. in chemistry from Harvard University in 1991. Following a stint as a postdoc at California Institute of Technology, he joined MIT's chemistry department as an assistant professor in 1993. He became an associate professor in 1998 and a full professor in 1999.

His awards include an NSF Young Investigator Award (1994), an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellowship (1997), a Camille Dreyfus Teacher Scholar Award (1997), as well as the Springer Award in Organometallic Chemistry (2001).

The award address will be presented before the Division of Organic Chemistry.--MELISSA BRADDOCK

 

Alfred Burger Award in Medicinal Chemistry

Sponsored by GlaxoSmithKline

Greenlee
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Greenlee

William J. Greenlee, 53, has been involved in a diverse range of medicinal chemistry programs during his 25-year career in the pharmaceutical industry, but he is best known for his work in cardiovascular drug discovery--and for service to the medicinal chemistry community.

It's no surprise that Greenlee became a chemist: He spent summers during high school synthesizing acetylenes and other hydrocarbons for Chemical Samples Co., the firm his father ran in Columbus, Ohio. He attended Ohio State University and received his B.S. in chemistry, summa cum laude.

Armed with a National Science Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship, Greenlee pursued graduate studies at Harvard University, earning a Ph.D. in chemistry in 1976 under Robert B. Woodward. For the next two years, he was an NIH postdoctoral fellow at Columbia University under Gilbert Stork and a member of the team that completed the first total synthesis of cytochalasin B.

Greenlee's graduate and postgraduate years focused on natural products synthesis, and it wasn't until he joined Merck Sharp & Dohme in 1977 that he was exposed to medicinal chemistry. He soon became part of a group under Arthur A. Patchett that discovered potent angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, including the antihypertensive drugs Vasotec and Prinivil.

Among Greenlee's many subsequent projects at Merck, he is perhaps best known for research into nonpeptide antagonists of angiotensin II. The effort evolved into a collaboration with DuPont Merck Pharmaceutical Co. aimed at developing a backup to Cozaar, an antihypertensive drug candidate then in clinical trials.

Jack Hodges, senior research fellow at Pfizer and a colleague of Greenlee's, says, "The leads developed by Greenlee's group were the antagonists to beat among the many to emerge from industrial research groups who competed furiously in the antihypertensive field during the early 1990s." Greenlee's group also reported small-molecule angiotensin II agonists, which were the first nonpeptide agonists for a peptide receptor discovered outside the opioid field.

Greenlee joined Schering-Plough in 1995 as senior director of cardiovascular and central nervous system chemical research. He became vice president in 2002, and was in charge of a team of 65 medicinal chemists. Along the way, he organized a high-throughput synthesis group that provides support across the company's therapy areas.

One success to emerge from Greenlee's group is a thrombin receptor antagonist that just entered Phase I clinical trials for treatment and prevention of thrombosis. And thanks in part to the work of Greenlee's group, Schering-Plough was first to enter clinical trials with a CCR5 receptor antagonist--a novel treatment for HIV infection.

Despite his growing responsibilities, Greenlee finds time to support the medicinal chemical community. He chaired the ACS Division of Medicinal Chemistry in 2003 and this year is chair of the Division of Organic Chemistry. He has organized more than 10 ACS national meeting symposia in recent years and is active in the Medicinal Chemistry Gordon Conference, which he chaired in 1997.

As a manager in the pharmaceutical industry, Greenlee is well aware of the financial pressures that companies like Schering-Plough face today, but, as a medicinal chemist, he is excited by the explosion of new drug targets revealed by genomics.

Twenty years ago, Greenlee recalls, chemists were reluctant to finish projects because outstanding new targets were few and far between. "Today, no one works on a dead-end project," he says. "If a project isn't going well, we move on to something more promising. It's a great time to be a medicinal chemist."

The award address will be presented before the Division of Medicinal Chemistry.--MICHAEL MCCOY

 

Arthur W. Adamson Award for Distinguished Service in the Advancement of Surface Chemistry

Sponsored by Occidental Petroleum Corp.

Hemminger
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Hemminger

John C. Hemminger, professor of chemistry at the University of California, Irvine, has done pioneering fundamental studies of the chemistry and physics that occur on solid surfaces. Recently, his work has focused on understanding the coupling between surface reactivity and the dynamical nature of surface structure.

For example, chemists recognized for years that surface reactions must be important in the lower atmosphere--the troposphere. But lab experiments to study such reactions were not reproducible.

Because of a conflict between the perceived need to carry out the reactions at atmospheric conditions and traditional surface-science techniques that required an ultrahigh vacuum, chemists made little progress in studying reactions in the troposphere for more than three decades. Hemminger solved this problem. He showed that surface-science approaches can be used to gain a quantitative mechanistic and kinetic understanding of surface reactions in the troposphere.

Recently, Hemminger focused on sodium chloride (NaCl) and sodium bromide (NaBr), which are important components of airborne sea-salt particles. He used X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy to study the reaction between NaCl and gaseous nitric acid (HNO3), on a clean, freshly cleaved NaCl crystal.

Hemminger's "recent use of X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy to characterize heterogeneous reactions on surfaces . . . is changing the way in which we think about reactions on ices and aerosol particles," says W. Carl Lineberger, professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of Colorado. Hemminger also made important progress by applying transmission electron microscopy to understand water's role in the reactions.

One of Hemminger's significant contributions is his research to understand the role of bromine in ozone destruction in the remote Arctic as well as at midlatitudes. Another contribution was the use of scanning tunneling microscopy to follow surface reactions at the molecular level and to study the chemistry of self-assembled monolayers, thin films, and metal catalysts. Currently, he is doing research on nanoparticle systems, trying to understand how surfaces of nanoparticles differ from surfaces of bulk materials.

Hemminger remains very enthusiastic about the field of surface science. He says it encompasses nearly everything that is interesting about chemistry and has many applications. He first became interested in chemistry in high school, where his teacher was Janan Hayes, now a chemistry professor at Merced College and an active member of the ACS Division of Chemical Education.

In addition to his research contributions, Hemminger has served the profession of chemistry effectively. He is chairman of the Department of Energy's Basic Energy Sciences Advisory Committee and until recently was chairman of the ACS Division of Physical Chemistry.

Hemminger, 54, graduated with a B.S. in chemistry from the University of California, Irvine, in 1971. He completed a Ph.D. in chemical physics at Harvard University in 1976. After two years of postdoctoral research at the University of California, Berkeley, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, he took a position as assistant professor of chemistry at the University of California, Irvine, in 1978. He has remained at UC Irvine, except for two assignments as a visiting professor abroad.

Hemminger has published about 140 research papers. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society, the American Vacuum Society, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He received the Alexander von Humboldt Senior Scientist Award in 1999.

The award address will be presented before the Division of Physical Chemistry.--BETTE HILEMAN

 

Ralph F. Hirschmann Award in Peptide Chemistry

Sponsored by Merck Research Laboratories

Houghten
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Houghten

"A pioneer in multiple peptide synthesis and a continuing dominant presence in the development and utilization of peptide libraries" is how one colleague refers to Richard A. Houghten.

Houghten is president of Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies and president and chief executive officer of Mixture Sciences, both in San Diego, Calif. He will receive the Hirschmann Award "for his internationally recognized scientific and entrepreneurial achievements in peptide and combinatorial chemistry--including his revolutionary tea-bag synthetic technique, exploited worldwide for pharmaceutical discovery."

The tea-bag method is a technique for parallel synthesis of peptides in which solvent-permeable packets are used to synthesize and separate unique, homogeneous peptide sequences. In Houghten's first scientific paper on the technique, he reported synthesizing tens of milligrams of each of 248 different 13-mer peptides in less than four weeks--a remarkable increase in synthetic productivity at the time.

At Scripps Research Institute, he used the tea-bag method to identify a range of highly active analogs of magainin, a 23-residue antibacterial peptide; one such compound has passed Phase III trials for the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers. Houghten's tea-bag technology was licensed to Discovery Partners' Irori unit (San Diego), and millions of radio-frequency-tagged tea bags, called MicroKans, have been sold over the past five years.

Houghten also developed the "libraries from libraries" concept, in which peptide libraries are modified, while still on-resin, into new libraries of peptidomimetics, heterocycles, and other compounds.

Houghten, 57, was born in Champaign, Ill. He received a B.S. in chemistry at California State University, Fresno, in 1968, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in organic chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1970 and 1975, respectively. He was a postdoc and research associate at UC San Francisco in the late 1970s, an assistant professor of medicine and biochemistry at Mount Sinai School of Medicine for two years, and has held various member and adjunct member positions at Scripps Research Institute for the past 20 years.

He founded Multiple Peptide Systems, San Diego, in 1986, to commercialize the tea-bag method of solid-phase synthesis. In 1988 he founded Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies, a nonprofit combinatorial chemistry-based research institute. In 1990, he founded Houghten Pharmaceuticals, later called Trega Biosciences, which was acquired in 2001 by Lion Bioscience AG, Heidelberg, Germany. And in 1999, he founded Mixture Sciences, a privately held biotech company that aims to discover and commercialize therapeutics and diagnostics for a range of diseases. He also founded the Journal of Peptide Research, is coeditor-in-chief of Molecular Diversity, and has served on the editorial boards of seven other journals.

At last count, Houghten has authored or coauthored over 500 publications, including more than 200 on combinatorial chemistry, and is an inventor or coinventor on 61 U.S. patents. Other honors he has received include the Vincent du Vigneaud Award for Excellence in Peptide Science (2000), the UCSD Connect Athena Individual Pinnacle Award for Empowering Women in the Workplace (1999), and the TNO Pharma Award for Outstanding Strategic Research in Combinatorial Technologies (1998).

The award address will be presented to the Division of Organic Chemistry.--STU BORMAN

 

E. V. Murphree Award in Industrial & Engineering Chemistry

Sponsored by ExxonMobil Research & Engineering Co. and ExxonMobil Chemical Co.

Lyons
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Lyons

The nexus of industrial catalysis--chemistry and economically superior process technologies--has been the driving force in the long scientific career of James E. Lyons.

Much of Lyons' research over the past 20 years has been focused on a search for catalysts to promote selective oxidation of alkanes to be used to make industrial, commercial products.

Currently, unsaturated hydrocarbons are the preferred raw materials for manufacturing commercial oxidation products, but by substituting abundant and inexpensive alkanes, Lyons says, manufacturing feedstock costs could be substantially reduced.

This research holds a formidable challenge but an immense payoff, and for Lyons, an industrial chemist, it has been the work of a lifetime.

Lyons is an internationally recognized leader in catalytic oxidation for fuels and chemicals, his colleagues note.

"His work has touched on almost every area of catalysis and encompasses many key contributions by combining insightful and creative science with important applications," Jack Halpern, professor emeritus at the University of Chicago, tells C&EN.

Lyons explains that over the past decade, great strides have been made in discovering catalysts for more efficient alkane oxidations, but control of selectivity has been difficult.

"The good news," he says, is that "when working with oxygen, something always happens. And if you can make it happen selectively, you have something very interesting and important to work on.

"So we worked with a lot of different catalytic pathways and reactions and found a number of very nice selective transformations using molecular oxygen.

"Although I had started by working with olefins, it became apparent that if we could make the same sort of products from an alkane--especially if we could do so in a single selective step--it would have enormous economic impacts. However, it would also be very difficult.

"While we began our work on the direct oxidation of olefins and aromatics," he continues, "we ultimately went to the study of reactions of alkanes with oxygen. Right now, for example, we are learning how polyoxometallate catalysts activate hydrocarbon substrates in hopes of gaining insight into catalysts that could someday convert alkanes like ethane, propane, and the butanes to alcohols, olefins, or unsaturated acids such as acrylic or methacrylic acids in a single high-yield step."

Lyons, 66, received his B.S. degree in chemistry from Boston College in 1959 and a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of California, Davis, in 1968. Before his doctoral studies, he conducted research on the catalytic formation and polymerization of silylamines at General Electric's R&D Center in Schenectady, N.Y.

After receiving his doctorate, Lyons joined Sun Co. and became corporate chief scientist in chemicals R&D, directing research in homogeneous and heterogeneous transition-metal catalysis; he was made Sun's Chemistry Fellow in 1997.

He retired from Sun in 1999, joining the Catalyst Group, an international consulting organization, as a member of their scientific advisory board.

Last year, Lyons retired from the Catalyst Group and this year will focus his research at the University of Delaware, where he is an adjunct professor in the Center for Catalytic Science & Technology in the department of chemical engineering.

Lyons has authored more than 90 publications and holds more than 100 U.S. patents in the field of catalysis.

The award will be presented before the Division of Industrial & Engineering Chemistry.--JEFF JOHNSON

 

ACS Award for Computers in Chemical & Pharmaceutical Research

Sponsored by Accelrys

Richards
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Richards

W. Graham Richards, chairman of chemistry at Oxford University, is one of the pioneers of computer-aided drug design. The focus of his research has ranged from small molecules to proteins, DNA, and membranes.

"What sets him apart from other distinguished academics is his involvement with industry, to the extent of founding one of the world's leading software companies in the area, namely Oxford Molecular Group, now part of Pharmacopeia," a colleague remarks.

Among his notable recent innovations is the "Screensaver Lifesaver" project, which is being run by Oxford University's Centre for Computational Drug Discovery (C&EN, April 9, 2001, page 6). The project uses the spare processing power of personal computers to screen molecules for their potential as anticancer drugs. It is backed by the distributed-computing technology company United Devices and funded by the National Foundation for Cancer Research. Related projects are searching for molecules that block anthrax and smallpox. According to Richards, who directs the center, the screensaver software has been downloaded onto some 2.5 million PCs worldwide since the launch of the first project in April 2001.

Born in Cheshire, England, in 1939, Richards has spent much of his career at Oxford University, where he received his doctorate in 1964. Three years later, he was appointed departmental demonstrator in physical chemistry at the university and then rose to become professor of chemistry there in 1996.

"I started research in 1961 and was part of the first generation of graduate students to use a computer," he tells C&EN. "I started work on diatomics and developed a special interest in spin-orbit coupling that culminated with a prediction of the radio frequency of interstellar CH which was more accurate than that obtained from terrestrial experiments."

In 1968, Richards was asked to comment on a theoretical paper on histamine. "The paper, which came out of the blue, opened my eyes to the possibilities of computational chemistry in drug discovery, although this was thought to be an outlandish idea at the time," he says.

However, his subsequent book on the topic, "Quantum Pharmacology" (London: Butterworth, 1977), prompted a lot of interest. It was made into a film by British Films two years later.

"My book, coupled to advances in technology such as workstations, encouraged industry to take up the ideas," Richards says. "Many of my former students now work in pharmaceutical companies across the world.

"In the early 1980s, I published the first color graphics pictures of electron densities and potentials from black-and-white screens using color filters and photography," he continues. "But soon color workstations became available and what is clearly the modern era began."

Richards has edited, authored, or coauthored 13 books and is the author or coauthor of more than 330 papers and articles in scientific journals. From 1995 to 1999, he was a member of the board of directors of the Association for International Cancer Research. He is currently a member of the scientific affairs board of the Royal Society of Chemistry in the U.K.

In 1999, Richards raised more than $100 million to fund a new chemistry research laboratory at Oxford University. Construction of the laboratory started in 2000 (C&EN, Dec. 11, 2000, page 45). It will be opened early next year.

The award address will be presented before the Division of Computers in Chemistry.--MICHAEL FREEMANTLE

 

ACS Award in Inorganic Chemistry

Sponsored by Aldrich Chemical Co.

Roesky
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Roesky

Dairy farming and inorganic chemistry may seem as separate as curds and whey, but not for Herbert W. Roesky, director of the Institute of Inorganic Chemistry of Georg-August-Universität, Göttingen, Germany. An early apprenticeship in a dairy inadvertently laid the groundwork for his long and eventful career in inorganic chemistry.

After completing high school, Roesky worked for a dairy in Hanover, Germany, learning how to make butter and cheese. On finishing his apprenticeship, he planned on enrolling at the University of Göttingen to study agriculture. However, he was persuaded to switch to chemistry in light of the great need for chemists in the late 1950s. By 1963, Roesky had earned his Ph.D.

Roesky says that after World War II, "my parents had lost all their belongings," and so he spent a great deal of time in the dairy to earn money for living expenses in addition to paying for his studies at college. With his background in the dairy, Roesky explains, "it was obvious to become an organic chemist." However, one unpleasant day changed his whole outlook: "I had to go to the slaughterhouse to collect filled gallbladders for preparing cholic acid. This event turned me to inorganic chemistry."

Roesky's research interests include inorganic and organometallic chemistry, catalysis, and materials science and encompass such diverse areas as organometallic fluorides, metallasiloxanes, metallacycles, main-group and metal clusters, new catalysts for polymerization, and two-phase reactions for hydroformylation employed in industry.

One colleague notes that Roesky "is an extremely able inorganic chemist gifted with extraordinary synthetic instincts for exploring and preparing interesting new classes of compounds." Indeed, in his early work, Roesky isolated and characterized unprecedented species, such as [P(N3)6], [S5N5]+, and [Ag(S8)2]+. His contributions to transition-metal chemistry have advanced the concept of "chemistry without borders between main-group and transition-metal chemistry." These include transition-metal-containing phosphazenes, siloxanes, and borazines. Of special interest is the six-membered Ta3N3 ring, which possesses a six p electron system.

Roesky has also prepared new inorganic materials from molecular precursors. Films such as blue-BN, AlN, GaN, and CdSe have been deposited on optical fibers using chemical vapor deposition.

He is also a trailblazer in the chemistry of aluminum and gallium. Recently, his group has prepared an inorganic aluminum carbene, which inserts into an alkyne to give a three-member ring system. For his many accomplishments, one colleague lauds Roesky as "one of the very top chemists of the world and one of the outstanding scholars of our time."

Though Roesky has been active in the research front, his energies also extend to the field of popularizing science for the public. He has delivered more than 150 experimental lectures around the world. His book "Chemical Curiosities" has been published in five languages and details fascinating chemistry experiments. Chemistry Nobel Laureate Roald Hoffmann notes that the book is a "remarkable achievement."

Roesky, 68, has served on 18 editorial boards for various journals; has more than 920 research publications, articles, and patents; and has authored six books. He is currently president of the Academy of Sciences in Göttingen and is a member of the Russian, French, Austrian, and Indian Academies of Sciences. Among Roesky's many honors are the 1990 Alfred Stock Memorial Award, the 1999 ACS Award for Creative Work in Fluorine Chemistry, and the 1999 Wilkinson Prize.

The award address will be presented before the Division of Inorganic Chemistry.--STEPHEN TRZASKA

 

ACS Award in Theoretical Chemistry

Sponsored by IBM

Tully
8204awards_tully
 
Tully

During many photochemical reactions, the dynamics of ground and excited states aren't separate entities. Instead, they're often coupled to each other, which allows electrons to hop back and forth between different electronic states in what's known as a nonadiabatic process.

Chemist John C. Tully formulated a theory to describe this complicated picture in the early 1970s. Known as the "surface hopping" method, the theory is now a standard feature in the theoretical chemistry landscape.

Throughout the years, Tully, now Arthur T. Kemp Professor of Chemistry and professor of physics and applied physics at Yale University, has augmented surface hopping, increasing its accuracy and applicability.

Tully's influence doesn't stop there. He has made many other contributions to theoretical chemistry, including developments in gas-surface dynamics. Tully employed the generalized Langevin theory, a broadly used statistical approach, to describe the dynamics of chemical bond breaking and motion on solid interfaces. With this method, Tully was able to analyze the mechanisms of molecular adsorption, reaction, and desorption on metal surfaces, including nonthermal desorption via rapid laser heating.

Tully was born in 1942. He attended Yale University, receiving his B.S. in chemistry in 1964. He then went to the University of Chicago, obtaining his Ph.D. in chemistry in 1968.

From 1970 to 1996, Tully worked at Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill, N.J., serving as head of the physical chemistry and materials chemistry research departments.

Tully has won numerous awards, including ACS's Peter Debye Award in Physical Chemistry in 1995 and the Madison Marshall Award of the ACS North Alabama Local Section in 1999. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. Tully is also a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

The award address will be presented before the Division of Physical Chemistry.--ELIZABETH WILSON

 

James Bryant Conant Award in High School Chemistry Teaching

Watt
8204awards_Watt
 
Watt

Toni Austin Watt is rarely at a loss for words. That is, unless she receives a national award. She recalls being in shock when she was notified she had won the James Bryant Conant Award. "I got excited, and I couldn't talk."

Watt's aim as a teacher is to bridge the gap between students and academia or industry. To accomplish this, she offers a research course for students and encourages participation in science fairs. Watt also gives her students exposure to professional labs, such as the one at Stevens Institute of Technology.

"That's really the hook, line, and sinker. They like being in a lab, they like meeting the professionals, and they like being in an environment where they feel that what they're doing is important," she says. She also serves as a Project SEED mentor and encourages her students, who mainly come from minority backgrounds, to participate in the program.

Interestingly, Watt calls it "a fluke" that she became a teacher. After graduating from Concordia College, in Moorhead, Minn., with bachelor's degrees in biology and chemistry but no job, she was encouraged by her father to return home to Richmond, Va. Finding employment in Virginia was also difficult. "I was a woman. I was black. And I was not going to get past any employment agencies to get to the people who were really going to hire chemists," Watt recalls.

Out of boredom, Watt sat in on an organic chemistry class at Virginia Union University, which she attended her freshman year before transferring to Concordia. One of her former professors put her in charge of the lab a few times. She was then encouraged by another professor to attend a program at Rutgers Graduate School of Education in New Brunswick, N.J., for future high school chemistry teachers. Through this program, she received a master's degree in science education and began teaching.

"I didn't like teaching at first," Watt says. "Finally, I decided I was going to make it something I liked. And I did."

Ever since, Watt has loved the experience of teaching. "Teaching is a really powerful thing," she says. "It allows you to touch greatness before it becomes great. It allows you to increase potential before some people even know they have potential."

Watt, 55, currently teaches at Montclair High School in Montclair, N.J. She has also taught chemistry at Wachtung Hill Regional High School in Warren, N.J. (2002–03), and Plainfield High School in Plainfield, N.J. (1971–2002).

Watt has received several honors during her career. She has been awarded over $25,000 in grants from the Lucent Technologies Minority Grant Program. Each year from 1996 to 2001, Watt received the Award of Recognition for Excellence in High School Science Projects Program from Lucent Technologies. Among other teaching recognition awards, Watt also received the 2002 Frontiersman International Award for Service to Youth.

The award address will be presented before the Division of Chemical Education.--RACHEL PEPLING

 

 
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