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2005 ACS National Award Winners

Recipients are honored for contributions of major significance to chemistry

January 10, 2005 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 83, Issue 2

Following is the second set of vignettes of recipients of awards administered by the American Chemical Society for 2005. C&EN will publish the vignettes of the remaining recipients in successive January and February issues. An article on George A. Olah, 2005 Priestley Medalist, is scheduled to appear in the March 14 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 15, in conjunction with the 229th ACS national meeting in San Diego. However, the Arthur C. Cope Scholar awardees will be honored at the 230th ACS national meeting in Washington, D.C., Aug. 28-Sept. 1.


ACS Award in the Chemistry of Materials

Sponsored by DuPont


An accidental discovery some 20 years ago changed life forever for Louis E. Brus, now a professor of chemistry at Columbia University.

Brus, who was working at AT&T Bell Labs at the time, had in fact stumbled on a finding that would revolutionize the electronics industry. He recalls making a conscious decision to abandon his original research and work full time on these particles. "I slowly realized this was very important and began to formulate in my mind that I should shift more of my personal time and research into this area," he says.

Brus, who was trained as a chemical physicist, knew he could not do the work alone. He organized a collaboration including Michael Steigerwald and postdocs A. Paul Alivisatos and Moungi Bawendi to synthesize the nanocrystals and understand their physical, electronic, and chemical properties as a function of size. Brus says that Bell Labs' "stimulating and supportive research environment" made all the difference in the world.

A colleague, Richard N. Zare, professor of chemistry at Stanford University, points out that most investigators with a background in chemical physics "run away from colloids as a topic too complicated and too ill-defined to be worthy of critical attention." But Brus, he says, "has led the way in encouraging people in the chemistry community to turn their attention to complex materials problems."

Today, quantum dots are being explored in everything from molecular electronic devices to solar cells to biological imaging.

Brus says he has been interested in science since high school. "I'm a child of the Sputnik generation," he says.

Brus earned a bachelor's degree in chemical physics from Rice University in 1965 and went on to earn a Ph.D. in that field from Columbia University in 1969. After graduating, he served as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy and did research in the Solid State and Chemistry Divisions of the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C. In 1973, Brus joined the technical staff at AT&T Bell Labs in Murray Hill, N.J., where he made his fateful discovery.

In 1996, he joined the chemistry faculty at Columbia University where he has remained. He continues to explore the evolution of solid-state properties and is working on creating new materials with nanoscale structure.

Outside of research, he enjoys reading history and biography. He also likes to work in his garden, calling the exercise "occupational therapy." Brus and his wife, Marilyn, have three adult children.

The award will be presented before the Division of Physical Chemistry.--LINDA WANG


Claude S. Hudson Award in Carbohydrate Chemistry

Sponsored by National Starch & Chemical Co.


From the time David R. Bundle of the University of Alberta, Edmonton, received his B.S. degree in chemistry, he knew he wanted to pursue a research career in organic chemistry at the interface with biology. In the 35-plus years since he had that vision, Bundle certainly has made the most of his time, becoming a recognized pioneer and leading authority on elucidating carbohydrate-protein interactions. His molecular recognition work has helped facilitate the design of vaccines used for cancer therapy and for prevention of microbial infections.

"We have combined three-dimensional structural detail with studies of antibody-antigen interactions by physical methods, including conformational analysis by nuclear magnetic resonance and microcalorimetry, for the measurement of ligand-binding parameters," Bundle says. "In addition, we are using the well-defined structural details of a variety of carbohydrate binding sites to pursue the rational design of high-affinity ligands."

One success involved the design of a pentavalent ligand as the first water-soluble inhibitor of the Shiga-like toxin responsible for the diseases caused by Escherichia coli O157:H7. This study led to the only potentially viable intravenous treatment of pathogenic E. coli infections. The treatment was characterized in a 2001 review article by J. Fraser Stoddart of the University of California, Los Angeles, as "one of the most impressive applications of glycoscience to have been described in the literature to date."

In 2002, Bundle helped create and became director of the university's Alberta Ingenuity Centre for Carbohydrate Science. Some of his group's current work at the center involves a candidate vaccine against Candida albicans, an increasingly problematic infectious agent affecting immunocompromised patients.

Bundle, 58, is a native of London. He was attracted to science, and especially chemistry, by outstanding high school teachers in the U.K., he notes. "A large factor in this enjoyment was that we conducted hands-on experiments, including preparative organic chemistry and qualitative inorganic analysis," he recalls.

After undergraduate studies at the University of Nottingham, in England, Bundle entered the microbiological chemistry program at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, in England, where the major research interests involved polysaccharides of the bacterial cell wall. After obtaining a Ph.D. degree in 1971, he received a National Research Council (NRC) of Canada postdoctoral fellowship to study at NRC's research center in Ottawa, Ontario.

He subsequently did additional postdoctoral work at the University of Alberta with chemistry professor Raymond U. Lemieux, whose group was completing research on the first chemical syntheses of the human blood group antigens. The patents arising from this work were the founding intellectual property of ChemBiomed, Canada's first biotechnology company and the first biotechnology venture in glycobiology.

Bundle later worked as an investigator for NRC in Ottawa, where he led a team that solved the first crystal structure of a carbohydrate-antibody complex. In 1988, Bundle was honored with the Roy L. Whistler Award, presented by the International Carbohydrate Organization, the most prestigious award given for carbohydrate chemistry. He returned to Alberta in 1993 to take up his current position as Lemieux Professor of Chemistry.

"Bundle does not see the definition of carbohydrate chemistry simply as the synthesis and study of carbohydrate compounds," comments chemistry colleague Ole Hindsgaul of Carlsberg Laboratory, Copenhagen, Denmark. "Rather, he sees critical problems in both basic science and in medicine, where the application of carbohydrate chemistry is essential to a solution."

The award address will be presented before the Division of Carbohydrate Chemistry.--STEVE RITTER


E. V. Murphree Award in Industrial & Engineering Chemistry

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

Mark E. Davis, the Warren & Katharine Schlinger Professor of Chemical Engineering at California Institute of Technology, is receiving this year's award for his work in synthesizing designer catalysts.

In the 1980s, Davis was determined to bring synthesis back to chemical engineering. "I decided that chemical engineering was emphasizing mathematics and computer simulations to an extent that was too large, and I felt this was not good for the overall discipline," Davis says. "I focused my efforts on synthesis of new materials from a molecular perspective in hopes of bringing back synthesis."

Davis' group was the first to discover very large pore zeolites. In "a crowded field where brilliant insights run parallel to semiempirical methods," Davis is "one of the world leaders in the rational design of new zeolitic structures," according to a colleague.

Davis has not only been involved in the discovery of new catalysts, he has also played a role in understanding their chemistry. "His work has provided a fundamental understanding of the underlying mechanisms of self-assembly and molecular recognition that govern the synthesis and selectivity of these solids in hydrocarbon catalysis," the colleague says.

In addition to his work with zeolites, Davis invented a new class of heterogeneous catalysts--supported aqueous-phase catalysts--that he was able to use to design new chiral catalysts.

In recent years, Davis' research has taken a turn. In addition to his ongoing work with catalysts, he also designs cyclodextrin-containing polymers for gene delivery. "The key is the rational design of new materials with control at the molecular level."

Medical applications take him back to one of his first scientific loves. "I was always interested in medicine from a very young age," Davis says.

When he attended university, many chemical engineering departments offered joint engineering and premed programs. "This allowed me to take many biologically related courses, do undergraduate research in nerve physiology, and take courses from the medical school, all while I was getting my engineering degree."

Davis, 49, received a B.S. in chemical engineering from the University of Kentucky in 1977. He continued his education at the University of Kentucky, receiving his M.S. in 1978 and his Ph.D. in 1981, both in chemical engineering.

In 1981, he became an assistant professor of chemical engineering at Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University. He was promoted to associate professor and full professor in 1985 and 1989, respectively. In 1990, he was named the Charles O. Gordon Professor of Chemical Engineering at Virginia Tech. He moved to Caltech in 1991 and became the Warren & Katharine Schlinger Professor of Chemical Engineering in 1993.

Davis has received numerous awards recognizing his research. In 1989, he received the Allan P. Colburn Award from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, which recognizes excellence in research publications by a younger chemical engineer. In 1990, Davis became the first engineer to win the Alan T. Waterman Award from the National Science Foundation. He has also received the Ipatieff Prize from the American Chemical Society and the Paul H. Emmett Award from the North American Catalysis Society. In 1997, he was elected to the National Academy of Engineering.

The award address will be presented before the Division of Industrial & Engineering Chemistry.--CELIA M. HENRY


ACS Award for Research at an Undergraduate Institution

Sponsored by Research Corporation

Phoebe K. Dea's excitement for undergraduate research started during her freshman year at the University of California, Los Angeles. Her interest in physical chemistry was sparked as she studied the magnetic susceptibility of oxygen under high pressure. "I saw, firsthand, the passion scientists displayed toward their work and felt the sense of excitement and adventure that permeated the laboratory. My undergraduate research experience transformed me almost immediately from a science student into an aspiring scientist." Dea considers Charles M. Knobler, her undergraduate adviser, one of the most influential mentors of her career.

Since Dea established her own laboratory, she has provided the same experience for 116 undergraduates. Those students have made more than 100 scientific presentations and have been supported by more than $2.7 million from grants that Dea has raised for research. Dea has been especially successful at encouraging women and minority students to perform undergraduate research, finish their undergraduate studies, and continue on to graduate school. Dea's influence extends beyond her own laboratory; she has organized multiple undergraduate research conferences, reached out to economically disadvantaged and minority high school students, and participated in national organizations promoting early science education.

Dea received her bachelor's at UCLA and went on for a Ph.D. in chemistry at California Institute of Technology. After a short stint in industry at ICN Pharmaceuticals, Dea joined the faculty at California State University, Los Angeles, where she taught and advised for 17 years. Eleven years ago, she moved to Occidental College as the Fletcher Jones Professor of Chemistry and is now the associate dean of the sciences college.

Dea's research focuses on the nature of phospholipid bilayers--models for natural membranes. She is especially interested in how small molecules interact with phospholipid bilayers, something she and her students observe using nuclear magnetic resonance, calorimetry, and fluorescence. She also investigates the thermodynamics and aggregation behavior of micellar nanomolecules. Her research is rigorous. Some of the more than 50 publications authored by her and her students have appeared in Proceedings of the National Academy of the Sciences and Science, five of her students have received Goldwater Scholarships, and one recently received a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship.


Research in Dea's laboratory is also open-ended and suited to the needs of the students. "She let us try to think for ourselves," says Rosalie Tran, who worked in Dea's laboratory for three-and-a-half years at Occidental and is now a graduate student in biophysical chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley. Tran says that Dea chose projects that could be completed in four years and encouraged students to reach further than they would on their own. Tran believes that her self-esteem grew as Dea encouraged her to apply for grants and scholarships that Tran felt she had no chance of receiving. "Her motto was just to try for these opportunities, even if I did not think it was worthwhile. To my surprise, it actually paid off most of the time."

Dea believes that undergraduate research is best approached as a collaboration. Her greatest reward from that collaboration is to share in the excitement of new discovery. "Once the students realize they have made their first original contributions, their doubts about their adequacy disappear as they reach the forefront of science."

The award address will be presented before the Division of Chemical Education.--LOUISA DALTON


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

Sponsored by Occidental Petroleum Corp.


After earning his bachelor's degree, Robert J. Hamers wanted to go to graduate school. However, his mother was against the idea because it would be a financial burden on their family.

Yet Hamers had already come this far. He was the first in his family to get a university degree, and he wasn't about to stop there. Hamers got a fellowship to go to graduate school and went on to a career in industry and then academia. Today, he is one of the world's leading surface chemists.

"Everything that Bob does, he does with polish, imagination, and attention to detail," says John C. Wright, chairman of the department of chemistry at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. "Anything that he tackles, he brings his own imagination to bear on it."

Hamers, 46, is now a professor of chemistry at UW Madison and doing cutting-edge research at the intersection of microelectronics, nanotechnology, and biotechnology. For example, one project on biological sensors involves attaching DNA to thin films of diamond. The sensors could one day be used to detect hazardous biological agents in public places such as airports, bus terminals, and stadiums.

Such ingenious work has won Hamers numerous awards, including the IBM Faculty Award, the National Science Foundation "Special Creativity" Award, the Kellett Mid-Career Award from UW Madison, the Vilas Associates Award, the Peter Mark Memorial Award of the American Vacuum Society, a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, and the Camille & Henry Dreyfus New Faculty Award. In addition, the Institute for Scientific Information has recognized him as a "Highly Cited Researcher."

Hamers can trace his interest in chemistry back to his childhood, when he and his uncle would spend hours looking at the moon and the stars through a giant homebuilt telescope. On weekends, his uncle would pick him up from his parents' house, and they would do science experiments together.

Hamers graduated from UW Madison in 1980 with a B.S. in chemistry and went on to earn a Ph.D. in physical chemistry in 1986 from Cornell University. He did a postdoc and was then hired as a research staff member at IBM, where he became interested in the then newly invented technique of scanning tunneling microscopy.

Hamers built one of the first ultra-high-vacuum scanning tunneling microscopes and found that by varying the microscope's potential, he not only could obtain electronic spectra of individual atoms but also could image the individual atomic orbitals of silicon's (001) crystallographic surface, the surface required for virtually all microprocessors and memory chips. His discoveries catalyzed the revolution that scanning tunneling microscopy has brought to surface science.

In 1990, Hamers returned to UW Madison as a tenured associate professor in the department of chemistry and became a full professor in 1994. He continues to look for research opportunities in areas where surface chemistry plays a role.

Hamers is a committed teacher and is active in the community. For example, he created a kit for building radios for his daughter's elementary school and distributed the kit for many years to schools in the Madison area. He also participates in science mentor programs that place grade school and high school students in university research labs for the summer.

"I look back on my life and realize that there are people who gave me breaks," Hamers says. "I feel that giving these kids a chance is important."

The award address will be presented to the Division of Colloid & Surface Chemistry.--LINDA WANG


ACS Award in Analytical Chemistry

Sponsored by Battelle Memorial Institute

Joel M. Harris, 54, of the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, is the recipient of this award in recognition of his pioneering work in the application of lasers to analytical measurement.

During his graduate studies with Fred E. Lytle at Purdue University, Harris was one of the first analytical chemists to work in the area of time-resolved fluorimetry, and he helped develop a new type of laser known as the synchronously pumped, cavity-dumped dye laser.

After becoming a professor at the University of Utah, he was the first to apply thermo-optical methods to trace analysis using the thermal lens effect. By deriving the relationship between the laser parameters and the strength of the thermal lens, he was able to provide a theoretical framework for new measurement concepts such as differential thermal measurements. His group determined how the thermal lens is influenced by flowing samples and how to process transient data in real time, which led to the application of thermal lens measurements to liquid chromatography and flow-injection analysis. Harris was also the first to use holography for detection of weak optical absorption using diffraction from photothermal gratings to spatially resolve a small detection zone.

Harris is known for combining surface-selective spectroscopy with kinetic methods to study interfaces. He used attenuated total reflection Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy to monitor the rates of binding silanes to silica and to resolve site-specific adsorption to silica surfaces in normal-phase chromatography. "Harris resolved a controversy that had been debated for over 20 years in the chromatographic literature and showed that site heterogeneity is responsible for nonlinear isotherm behavior in these systems," Lytle says.

"He is pursuing questions about interfacial chemistry that are of very widespread interest but that no one before knew how to address," says Royce W. Murray, Kenan Professor of Chemistry at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. "Harris' research in analytical chemistry is characterized by deep innovation in exploiting physical principles for sensitive measurement coupled with clever design of laser-based instrumentation and applied to problems of recognized chemical importance."

Paul W. Bohn, a chemistry professor at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, believes that one of Harris' most important contributions is the discovery of the lateral diffusion of covalently bound organosilanes at silica surfaces. "This work has implications for surface derivatization chemistry of a wide variety of oxide-based materials," Bohn says. "It has impacted the way people think about designing passivation systems, stationary phases for molecular separations, and molecular adhesion promoters."

Harris received his B.S. in chemistry in 1972 from Duke University, where he did undergraduate research with Charles H. Lochmüller. He received his Ph.D. in chemistry from Purdue University in 1976.

In 1976, Harris became an assistant professor of chemistry at the University of Utah. He was promoted to associate professor in 1981 and to full professor in 1985. In 2000, he was named a distinguished professor.

He has received several previous awards, including the 1999 Pittsburgh Analytical Chemistry Award, the 1991 ACS Division of Analytical Chemistry Award in Chemical Instrumentation, and the 1986 Coblentz Memorial Prize in Molecular Spectroscopy.

The award address will be presented before the Division of Analytical Chemistry.--CELIA HENRY


George A. Olah Award in Hydrocarbon or Petroleum Chemistry

Sponsored by the George A. Olah Endowment


"I went off to college barely able to speak English," says Enrique Iglesia of his early days at Princeton University. But that didn't stop the Cuban immigrant from excelling in school. "When you come to a new place and don't speak the language, you find other means of communicating," he adds. Indeed, Iglesia, who currently is a professor of chemical engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, had no trouble finding his comfort zone in spite of the language barrier because, as he puts it, "the languages of chemistry and mathematics are universal."

Iglesia was interested in science since his elementary school days and, by the time he was a teenager, he recognized the practical value of education. "I knew I needed to apply myself in school or else I would end up unloading grocery trucks and stocking store shelves," he recalls. Iglesia knew all about that type of work from jobs he held as a 15-year-old in Mexico, where his family spent about one year en route to the U.S. And so the young Iglesia concentrated on his schoolwork and even enrolled in college math classes while still in high school.


Iglesia's interest in catalysis developed during his Princeton years partly under the influence of the late Leon Lapidus, who at the time was chairman of the chemical engineering department. Also influential was William B. Russel, a young Princeton faculty member who encouraged Iglesia to pursue a graduate education in catalysis at Stanford University with professor Michel Boudart. In addition to those influences, rewarding summer internships at Exxon research laboratories led Iglesia to a career in catalysis research.

Catalysis experts note that Iglesia's research accomplishments are characterized by "an incredible combination of breadth and depth." For example, in the past decade he has broadened understanding in several key areas of catalysis, including the function of oxide nanostructures in acid and oxidation catalysis and the role of metal-exchanged zeolites as catalysts in alkane-conversion chemistry. Iglesia has also made contributions in methane reforming, production of alcohols and higher hydrocarbons from synthesis gas, and development of membrane reactors for direct conversion of alkanes to valuable products.

Colleagues have no shortage of laudatory remarks for Iglesia. James A. Dumesic, a professor of chemical engineering at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, remarks that Iglesia's research papers are marked by "meticulous attention to detail" and that his interpretations of results are "always insightful and thought provoking." And fellow Berkeley chemical engineering professor Alexis T. Bell notes that Iglesia "is regarded as one of the leading researchers in the field of catalysis." He adds that few people "have contributed more to the field through their scientific work and leadership."

Iglesia, 50, graduated from Princeton in 1977 with a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering and continued his education at Stanford, where he earned a Ph.D. degree in chemical engineering in 1982. From 1982 to 1993 he served as a research associate and later as head of the catalysis section at Exxon's corporate research laboratories, Annandale, N.J. Since 1993, Iglesia has been a professor at UC Berkeley and a faculty scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. He is the director of the Berkeley Catalysis Center and editor-in-chief of the Journal of Catalysis.

The award address will be presented before the Division of Petroleum Chemistry.--MITCH JACOBY


Earle B. Barnes Award for Leadership in Chemical Research Management

Sponsored by Dow Chemical Co.


Cynthia A. Maryanoff began her career as a medicinal chemist at Smith, Kline & French in 1977 after completing her Ph.D. in chemistry at Princeton University. By 1981, Maryanoff had shifted her focus to chemical process research as a section head for chemical development at McNeil Pharmaceutical, a Johnson & Johnson company. Maryanoff shifted focus again in 2004 to head up a research unit on drug-eluting stents for J&J's Cordis Corp.

The unifying principle in Maryanoff's career since joining McNeil has been the management of chemical and pharmaceutical research. An accomplished scientist with more than 40 patents and 80 publications to her credit, Maryanoff has emphasized building teams of scientists and cultivating individual careers in chemistry, often while managing the worldwide research efforts of a major drug company--until recently, Maryanoff headed a J&J unit with 150 researchers in the U.S., Belgium, Switzerland, and the U.K.

"I love chemistry and science, but I live for the 'ah-ha! moments' when someone actually understands a concept or idea or makes a breakthrough," she says. Though she has never taught in an academic setting, she sees her role as an on-the-job educator and motivator, looking for her own job satisfaction in the development of scientists on her staff.

Maryanoff can point to four scientists in her research groups receiving the Philip B. Hofmann Award, the highest scientific prize for a J&J researcher, and six receiving the J&J Vice-President's Award recognizing scientists below the Ph.D. level.

Maryanoff was also instrumental in developing an advanced scientific career ladder to provide a scientific research career path paralleling high-level management in regard to prestige and recognition. She currently holds the title of distinguished research fellow, a position equivalent to vice president under the system at Cordis.

Success in managing research, Maryanoff says, is not much different from managing other endeavors in the workplace or academia. It is a matter of leadership setting an example of excellence and worthy goals.

Outside of Johnson & Johnson, Maryanoff was the first woman to chair the American Chemical Society's Division of Organic Chemistry, the largest ACS division, where she initiated travel awards for undergraduate students and faculty from smaller institutions to attend the biannual National Organic Symposium. Her work in recruiting talented minorities and women was recognized with the J&J Corporate Achievement Award for managing diversity.

Among the other awards she has received over the past 25 years are the Francis P. Garvan-John M. Olin Medal from ACS in 1999, an ACS Philadelphia Section Award in 1991, the Philadelphia Organic Chemists' Award in 1999, two alumni awards from Drexel University, and Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Maryanoff, the second woman to receive the Barnes Award, says that while women have made solid gains as chemists in academia, they have often succeeded in industry at the price of their status as scientists. "In industry," she says, "it seems that if you are successful, you are pulled to the management ladder and away from science." The advanced scientific career ladder, a version of which has been established at other pharmaceutical companies, helps in this regard, she says. "I've chosen to honor science and stay on the scientific ladder, just because it is such a thrill for me."

The award address will be presented before the Division of Organic Chemistry.--RICK MULLIN


Roger Adams Award in Organic Chemistry

Sponsored by Organic Reactions Inc. & Organic Syntheses Inc.


Jerrold Meinwald often describes his chemistry in terms of joy and fun, both because of the interesting problems he has addressed over the years and the fascination he has stirred among those who have heard him tell stories of courtship, sex, and war in the natural world as mediated by organic compounds.

Meinwald, 77, is the Goldwin Smith Professor of Chemistry at Cornell University. He is renowned as a pioneer in the study of the chemical interactions of organisms. In this field, as in his earlier work, Meinwald has taken a path not well traveled by organic chemists but one full of surprises and delights.

Among his favorite early work was studying the mechanism of the rearrangement of cinenic acid, which seemed to involve the long-range migration of a methyl group from one side of a molecule to another. The reaction had been known since the 1900s, but mechanistically, "it was mysterious," Meinwald says. Through isotope-labeling experiments that Meinwald performed himself, he proved a hunch that what people thought was a methyl migration was really a carboxyl migration that could be explained on the basis of known chemistry. "I liked this work a lot because it clarified something that didn't seem to be possible."

Another early work was identifying the structure of nepetalactone, the active component of catnip oil, which elicits a playful response from cats. Many, but not all, cats are affected, a fact Meinwald was unaware of when in a seminar at Brookhaven National Laboratory, he tried in vain to demonstrate the effect of nepetalactone on a cat that was genetically wired to be indifferent to catnip oil.

Meinwald is best known for the body of work on how organic compounds mediate communication in the natural world. Even nonscientists are enthused by his fascinating findings on the relationships between insects, their predators, and the plants on which they feed, not only for sustenance but also for compounds that signal their desirability as sexual mates or that offer defensive advantage.

In this endeavor, Meinwald has collaborated for decades with Cornell biologist Thomas Eisner. The two are acknowledged as cofounders of chemical ecology. Meinwald considers the Roger Adams Award as recognition of the field he and Eisner have pioneered. He hopes that people will see both the fascinating roles played by natural products in biology and the potential importance of chemical ecology for agriculture and medicine.

Lately, Meinwald has been studying spider venoms, another little-traveled path of organic chemistry research. "About 40,000 species of spiders are known, and all carry the ability to paralyze prey by injecting venom," he says. Yet less than a few hundred species have been studied. Meinwald's effort is yielding a treasure trove of new compounds. It has also given rise--largely through the insights and efforts of collaborators Frank C. Schroeder and Andrew E. Taggi--to an efficient method of searching for novel natural products based on NMR spectroscopy (C&EN, Aug. 9, 2004, page 8).


After receiving a Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1952, Meinwald joined the faculty of Cornell University as an instructor and rose through the ranks, becoming full professor in 1962. The recipient of numerous awards and honors, he is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society.

The award address will be presented in June at the National Organic Chemistry Symposium, which will be held at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City.--MAUREEN ROUHI



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