2015 National Award Recipients

Following are the recipients of the 2015 National Awards administered by the American Chemical Society. Vignettes of the award recipients appeared in C&EN in early 2015. These recipients will be honored at an awards ceremony on Tuesday, March 24, 2015, in conjunction with the 249th ACS national meeting in Denver, CO. The Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award recipients will be honored during the fall national meeting in Boston, MA.

ACS Award for Achievement in Research for the Teaching and Learning of Chemistry 

Sponsored by Pearson Education

Vickie M. Williamson, Texas A & M University

Award Citation:  For cutting-edge contributions to chemical education research on the visualization of the particulate nature of matter.

ACS Award for Affordable Green Chemistry 

Sponsored by Dow Chemical Company and endowed by Rohm and Haas Company

John Frye, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Todd Werpy, Archer Daniels Midland Company

Alan Zacher, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Award Citation: For successfully applying Pacific Northwest National Laboratory’s chemical catalytic process technology to economically produce propylene glycol from renewable sources at commercial scale.

ACS Award for Computers in Chemical and Pharmaceutical Research

Sponsored by ACS Division of Computers in Chemistry

David A. Case, Rutgers University

Award Citation: For being a pillar of the computational chemistry community and a pioneer of the theory and simulations of biomolecular systems.

ACS Award for Creative Advances in Environmental Science and Technology

Sponsored by ACS Division of Environmental Chemistry, the ACS Publications journal Environmental Science & Technology, and Environmental Science & Technology Letters

Paul B. Shepson, Purdue University

Award Citation: For seminal advances in our understanding of the chemistry of remote and polluted atmospheres through an elegant combination of laboratory, field, and modeling studies.

ACS Award for Creative Invention

Sponsored by the ACS Corporation Associates

Jotham W. Coe, Pfizer

Award Citation: For work leading to the invention of Varenicline (Chantix), a novel a4B2 nicotinic receptor partial agonist as an aid to smoking cessation treatment.

ACS Award for Creative Research and Applications of Iodine Chemistry

Sponsored by SQM S.A.

Karl O. Christe, University of Southern California

Award Citation: For pioneering work on the preparation and characterization of novel iodine compounds and their use in synthesis, chemical lasers, explosives, and propellants.

ACS Award for Creative Work in Fluorine Chemistry

Sponsored by Juhua Group Technology Center (China)

Véronique Gouverneur, University of Oxford

Award Citation: For her contribution to late-stage fluorination and for invigorating creatively the field of [18F] radiochemistry for applications in Positron Emission Tomography.

ACS Award for Creative Work in Synthetic Organic Chemistry

Sponsored by the Aldrich Chemical Company, LLC

F. Dean Toste, University of California, Berkeley

Award Citation: For the development of catalysts and concepts for enantioselective reactions, including the use of cationic gold complexes and chiral anions as catalysts.

ACS Award for Distinguished Service in the Advancement of Inorganic Chemistry

Sponsored by Strem Chemicals

Kim R. Dunbar, Texas A&M University

Award Citation: For her outstanding achievements in the field of coordination compounds as magnetic and conducting materials and for her extraordinary service in inorganic chemistry.

ACS Award for Encouraging Disadvantaged Students into Careers in the Chemical Sciences

Sponsored by The Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation

Catherine H. Middlecamp, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Award Citation: For 30 years of passion, energy, dedication, and scholarship in the service of encouraging and mentoring disadvantaged chemistry students.

ACS Award for Encouraging Women into Careers in the Chemical Sciences

Sponsored by The Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation

E. Ann Nalley, Cameron University

Award Citation: For her continued persistence and tireless efforts to level the playing field for women in chemistry and inspiring young women to seek careers in chemistry.

ACS Award for Research at an Undergraduate Institution

Sponsored by Research Corporation for Science Advancement

George C. Shields, Bucknell University

Award Citation: For his research that always involves undergraduates, his publication rate, and his great grant success.

ACS Award for Team Innovation

Sponsored by the ACS Corporation Associates

Ryan Gaston, Dow Chemical

James R. Keenihan, Dow Chemical

Abhijit A. Namjoshi, Dow Chemical

Stephen Pisklak, Dow Chemical

Jason A. Reese, Dow Chemical

Award Citation: For exceptional innovation, multidisciplinary collaboration, and speed to develop and commercialize a groundbreaking renewable energy product, the DOW POWERHOUSETM Shingle, revolutionizing the dynamics of residential solar.

ACS Award in Analytical Chemistry

Sponsored by Battelle Memorial Institute

John R. Yates III, Scripps Research Institute

Award Citation: For the development of large-scale shotgun proteomics using tandem mass spectrometry and tandem mass spectrometry database searching.

ACS Award in Applied Polymer Science

Sponsored by Eastman Chemical Company

Geoffrey W. Coates, Cornell University

Award Citation: For his groundbreaking investigations of the design and mechanistic study of polymerization catalysts for the creation of environmentally friendly, high performance polymers.

ACS Award in Chromatography

Sponsored by Sigma-Aldrich/Supelco

Milton T. W. Hearn, Monash University

Award Citation: For prolific contributions to the advancement of knowledge and its translation to practice at the interface between separation science, analytical and synthetic chemistry, and biotechnology.

ACS Award in Colloid and Surface Chemistry

Sponsored by Colgate-Palmolive Co.

Paul S. Weiss, California NanoSystems Institute

Award Citation: For establishing the ultimate limits of miniaturization and for developing game-changing methods of patterning and investigation of molecules on surfaces.

ACS Award in Industrial Chemistry 

Sponsored by the ACS Division of Business Development & Management and the ACS Division of Industrial & Engineering Chemistry

Thomas J. Colacot, Johnson Matthey

Award Citation: For outstanding contributions to the development, commercialization and structure-activity relationship studies of ligands and precatalysts for metal-catalyzed organic synthesis, particularly cross-couplings, for industrial and academic use and applications.

ACS Award in Inorganic Chemistry

Sponsored by the Aldrich Chemical Company, LLC

John T. Groves, Princeton University

Award Citation: For his pioneering elucidation of the roles of reactive metal-oxo intermediates in catalytic and enzymatic oxidations.

ACS Award in Organometallic Chemistry

Sponsored by the Dow Chemical Company Foundation

William J. Evans, University of California, Irvine

Award Citation: For demonstrating the vitality of organometallic chemistry through the discovery of new oxidation states, ligand classes, structural types, and reaction pathways.

ACS Award in Polymer Chemistry

 Sponsored by ExxonMobil Chemical Company

Nikos Hadjichristidis, King Abdullah University of Science & Technology, Thuwal, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Award Citation: For his seminal contributions to the use of living anionic polymerization in the design/synthesis of well-defined polymers and to the understanding of macromolecular architecture-property relationships.

ACS Award in Pure Chemistry

Sponsored by the Alpha Chi Sigma Fraternity and the Alpha Chi Sigma Educational Foundation

Adam E. Cohen, Harvard University

Award Citation: For the development of revolutionary techniques using light to image trans-membrane potentials in cells, demonstrate new aspects of Maxwells equations, and immobilize molecules.

ACS Award in Separations Science and Technology

Sponsored by Waters Corporation

Richard D. Noble, University of Colorado, Boulder

Award Citation: For his world-leading contributions to separations science and technology, particularly for his advances in the field of membrane-based molecular separations.

ACS Award in the Chemistry of Materials

Sponsored by E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company

Mark E. Thompson, University of Southern California

Award Citation: For pioneering the discovery and development of molecular materials for displays, lighting, and solar energy conversion and for combining unique insights from molecular photophysics and synthetic chemistry.

ACS Award in Theoretical Chemistry

Sponsored by ACS

Mark S. Gordon, Iowa State University

Award Citation: For advancing quantum chemistry, especially fragmentation methods for studying reaction mechanisms and spectra in condensed phases, and multi-reference approaches, and their exploitation in theoretical chemistry.

Award for Volunteer Service to the American Chemical Society

Sponsored by the American Chemical Society

Cynthia K. Larive, University of California, Riverside

Award Citation: For her outstanding contributions to undergraduate and graduate education and to the advancement of analytical chemistry inside and outside the ACS.

Roger Adams Award in Organic Chemistry

Sponsored by Organic Reactions Inc. and Organic Syntheses Inc.

Larry E. Overman, University of California, Irvine

Award Citation: For his prowess and ingenuity as a superb molecular architect in the design and synthesis of complex natural products of plant and marine origin.

Alfred Bader Award in Bioinorganic or Bioorganic Chemistry

Sponsored by the Alfred R. Bader Fund

Michael A. Marletta, Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, Calif.

Award Citation: For essential discoveries concerning molecular aspects of nitric oxide signaling and gas sensing, and for most recently discovering novel oxidative enzymes involved with cellulose degradation.

Earle B. Barnes Award for Leadership in Chemical Research Management

Sponsored by The Dow Chemical Company Foundation

Christopher P. Austin, National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, NIH 

Award Citation: For innovative management and contributions to chemical research, chemical genomics, and clinical translational sciences at the NIH and beyond.

Ronald Breslow Award for Achievement in Biomimetic Chemistry

Sponsored by the Ronald Breslow Award Endowment

Eric T. Kool, Stanford University

Award Citation: For his transformative discovery that DNA helix formation and replication can function without canonical Watson-Crick base pairing.

Herbert C. Brown Award for Creative Research in Synthetic Methods

Sponsored by the Purdue Borane Research Fund and the Herbert C. Brown Award Endowment

Gary A. Molander, University of Pennsylvania

Award Citation: For his work on the development of important and practical synthetic methods, particularly in lanthanide- and palladium-catalyzed transformations.

James Bryant Conant Award in High School Chemistry Teaching

Sponsored by the American Chemical Society

Jenelle Lynn Ball, Chico High School, Chico, CA

Award Citation: For making chemistry accessible to every student and inspiring all her students to succeed in chemistry. Her students are exceptionally prepared for college.

Arthur C. Cope Award

Sponsored by the Arthur C. Cope Fund

Paul A. Wender, Stanford University

Award Citation: For his pioneering contributions to synthesis, photochemistry, organometallic chemistry, chemical biology, medicinal chemistry, and drug delivery.

Arthur C. Cope Scholar Awards (Late)

Sponsored by the Arthur C. Cope Fund

Debbie C. Crans, Colorado State University

Award Citation: For her characterization of the structures and properties of organic vanadium complexes and applying these principles to understand the impact of different coordinated ligands on anti-diabetic activity.

Antonio M. Echavarren, Institute of Chemical Research of Catalonia (ICIQ)

Award Citation: For his fundamental contributions to the development and popularization of the field of homogeneous gold catalysis.

Ben L. Feringa, University of Groningen

Awards Citation: For his groundbreaking research on dynamic molecular systems and stereochemistry, specifically the design of light-driven rotary molecular motors and phosphoramidites for asymmetric catalysis.

Kenneth M. Nicholas, University of Oklahoma

Award Citation: For pioneering work and outstanding leadership in the fields of organometallic chemistry and catalysis and his dedication to scholarship at all levels.

Arthur C. Cope Scholar Awards (Mid)

Sponsored by the Arthur C. Cope Fund

Miguel A. Garcia-Garibay, University of California, Los Angeles

Award Citation: For pioneering strategies to perform selective photochemical reactions in crystalline solids and for advancing new materials concepts based on molecular rotors and crystalline molecular machines.

Chuan He, The University of Chicago, Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Award Citation: For his development of innovative approaches to answering fundamentally important questions in nucleic acid chemistry, in particular, effective methods for studying 5-methylcytosine oxidation in mammalian genomic DNA.

Kenichiro Itami, Nagoya University

Award Citation: For his development of new catalysts for C-H activation and their applications in the synthesis and discovery of bio-functional molecules and new molecular nanocarbons.

Richmond Sarpong, University of California–Berkeley

Award Citation: For his seminal contributions in the definition of new strategies and methods for the synthesis of complex natural products.

Arthur C. Cope Scholar Awards (Early)

Sponsored by the Arthur C. Cope Fund

Michelle C. Chang, University of California, Berkeley

Award Citation: For metabolic engineering of fluorinated natural products by understanding the metabolism of Streptomyces cattleya that produces fluorinated acetyl.

Neil K. Garg, University of California, Los Angeles

Award Citation: For the development of nickel-catalyzed cross-couplings and new synthetic methodologies.

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

Sponsored by the Pfizer Endowment Fund

Jin-Quan Yu, The Scripps Research Institute

Award Citation: For pioneering work on C-H activation.


F. Albert Cotton Award in Synthetic Inorganic Chemistry

Sponsored by the F. Albert Cotton Endowment Fund

Jaqueline L. Kiplinger, Los Alamos National Laboratory

Award Citation: For her pioneering work in the synthetic chemistry of the actinides.


Peter Debye Award in Physical Chemistry

Sponsored by E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Company

Xiaoliang Sunney Xie, Harvard University

Award Citation: For his seminal contributions to single-molecule biophysical chemistry, including the development of a single-molecule approaches and the application of these approaches to studying fundamental biomolecular and cellular processes

Frank H. Field and Joe L. Franklin Award for Outstanding Achievement in Mass Spectrometry

Sponsored by Waters Corporation

Hilkka I. Kenttämaa, Purdue University

Award Citation: For work as an internationally recognized leader in the chemical characterization of distonic radical cations and in laser-induced acoustic desorption coupled to mass spectrometry

Francis P. Garvan–John M. Olin Medal

Sponsored by the Francis P. Garvan–John M. Olin Medal Endowment

Angela K. Wilson, University of North Texas

Award Citation: For outstanding contributions to computational chemistry and for outstanding national and international service to chemistry.

James T. Grady–James H. Stack Award for Interpreting Chemistry for the Public

Sponsored by the American Chemical Society

Deborah L. Blum, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Award Citation: For using her extensive experience as a science writer to humanize molecules and atoms in her engaging and best-selling book The Poisoner's Handbook.

Harry Gray Award for Creative Work in Inorganic Chemistry by a Young Investigator

Sponsored by the Gray Award Endowment

Emily A. Weiss, Northwestern University

Award Citation: For the discovery of interface-less inorganic–organic complexes, which provide a new mechanism for electronically coupling inorganic nanostructures to their surroundings by modifying their surface chemistry.

Ernest Guenther Award in the Chemistry of Natural Products

Sponsored by Givaudan

Thomas R. Hoye, University of Minnesota

Award Citation: For innovative contributions to chemical synthesis and structure determination of natural products; in particular, new strategic advances in NMR spectroscopic analyses and complex molecule synthesis.

Kathryn C. Hach Award for Entrepreneurial Success 

Sponsored by the Kathryn C. Hach Award Fund

Terry Brewer, Brewer Science

Award Citation: For innovative global leadership in creating, developing, and manufacturing revolutionary microelectronic technologies that are improving lives and for cultivating the next generation of technology leaders.

E. B. Hershberg Award for Important Discoveries in Medicinally Active Substances 

Sponsored by Merck Research Laboratories

Ruth R. Wexler, Bristol-Myers Squibb

Award Citation: For her outstanding scientific and leadership accomplishments in drug discovery resulting in treatments for cardiovascular disease.

Joel Henry Hildebrand Award in the Theoretical and Experimental Chemistry of Liquids

Sponsored by ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company

Mark Maroncelli, The Pennsylvania State University

Award Citation: For experimental and computational work that has helped establish an understanding of polar solvation dynamics and its effects on chemical processes.

E. V. Murphree Award in Industrial and Engineering Chemistry

Sponsored by ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company

Joseph R. Zoeller, Eastman Chemical Company

Award Citation: For his work as a Fellow at Eastman Chemical Company on the mechanism and development of methyl acetate carbonylation chemistry.

Nakanishi Prize

Sponsored by the Nakanishi Prize Endowment

Fred W. McLafferty, Cornell University

Award Citation: For pioneering work in the development of new techniques for the structural characterization of biological macromolecules using mass spectrometry.

Nobel Laureate Signature Award for Graduate Education in Chemistry

Sponsored by AvantorTM Performance Materials, Inc.

Denis Malyshev (student), Synthorx Inc.

Floyd Romesberg (preceptor), The Scripps Research Institute

Award Citation: For creating a semi-synthetic organism capable of storing unnatural information in its DNA, a significant advance in the field of chemical and synthetic biology.

James Flack Norris Award in Physical Organic Chemistry

Sponsored by the ACS Northeastern Sectionsponsored by the ACS Northeastern Section

Charles L. Perrin, University of California, San Diego

Award Citation: For his insight, rigorous analysis, and understanding of mechanisms and reactive intermediates

George A. Olah Award in Hydrocarbon or Petroleum Chemistry

Sponsored by the George A. Olah Award Endowment

Jingguang G. Chen, Columbia University

Award Citation: For experimental and theoretical investigations leading to fundamental understanding and discovery of novel catalytic materials for hydrocarbon transformation reactions.

Charles Lathrop Parsons Award

Sponsored by the American Chemical Society

Paul H. L. Walter, Skidmore College

Award Citation: For his outstanding service to the ACS, as well as to other scientific, academic, and religious organizations.

George C. Pimentel Award in Chemical Education 

Sponsored by Cengage Learning and the ACS Division of Chemical Education

I. Dwaine Eubanks, Clemson University

Award Citation: For insightful leadership in enhancing secondary- and tertiary-level chemistry instruction, particularly in developing innovative curricula and in generating high-quality, nationally implemented chemistry assessment instruments

Glenn T. Seaborg Award for Nuclear Chemistry

Sponsored by the ACS Division of Nuclear Chemistry and Technology

Heino Nitsche, University of California, Berkeley

Award Citation: For the first chemistry of bohrium and hassium, the first confirmation of element 114, and fundamental behavioral studies of actinides in the environment.

Gabor A. Somorjai Award for Creative Research in Catalysis

Sponsored by the Gabor A. and Judith K. Somorjai Endowment Fund

Maurice Brookhart, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Award Citation: For groundbreaking work on the development of systems for catalytic olefin polymerization and hydrocarbon conversions, interwoven with fundamentally important insights into mechanisms of their operation.

George and Christine Sosnovsky Award for Cancer Research

Sponsored by the George and Christine Sosnovsky Endowment Fund

Christopher P. Leamon, Endocyte, Inc.

Philip S. Low, Purdue University

Joseph A. Reddy, Endocyte, Inc.

Iontcho R. Vlahov, Endocyte, Inc.

Award Citation: For pioneering the use of small-molecule ligand-targeting to selectively deliver highly cytotoxic therapeutic and imaging agents to tumors.

E. Bright Wilson Award in Spectroscopy

Sponsored by the ACS Division of Physical Chemistry

R. J. Dwayne Miller, The Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter, and University of Toronto

Award Citation: For his contributions to the development of femtosecond electron diffraction and coherent multidimensional spectroscopies for the direct observation of chemical dynamics at the atomic level.

Ahmed Zewail Award in Ultrafast Science and Technology 

Sponsored by the Ahmed Zewail Endowment Fund established by the Newport Corporation

Shaul Mukamel, University of California, Irvine

Award Citation: For his seminal contributions to the development of coherent multidimensional spectroscopy of molecules ranging from the infrared to X-ray regimes.

National Fresenius Award

Sponsored by Phi Lambda Upsilon, The National Chemistry Honor Society

Abigail G. Doyle, Princeton University

Award Citation: For the invention of powerful new methods for chemical synthesis and catalysis with transition metals, including nickel-catalyzed couplings and asymmetric methods for nucleophilic fluorination.