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2017 National Award Recipients

The following are the recipients of the 2017 National Awards administered by the American Chemical Society (ACS). Vignettes of the award recipients appeared in the Jan. 2, 2017 issue of C&EN. The recipients were honored at an awards ceremony on Tuesday, April 4 in conjunction with the 254th ACS National Meeting in San Francisco. The Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award recipients will be honored during the fall national meeting in Washington, D.C.

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

Sponsored by ACS Exams Institute

Marcy H. Towns, Purdue University

Award Citation: For research that has increased our understanding of undergraduate laboratory, physical chemistry, and group learning, which has positively impacted teaching and learning in chemistry.  

ACS Award for Affordable Green Chemistry 

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

Peter J. Dunn, Pfizer (Retired)

Award Citation: For leading the Pfizer Green Chemistry Program and receiving significant external recognition, including for the greener total synthesis of sildenafil citrate.  

ACS Award for Computers in Chemical and Pharmaceutical Research

Sponsored by ACS Division of Computers in Chemistry

Yvonne C. Martin, Abbott Laboratories, AbbVie

Award Citation: For leading the field through creative additions, thoughtful application, and enthusiastic promotion of the tools of computer-aided drug design.

ACS Award for Creative Advances in Environmental Science and Technology

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

Douglas R. Worsnop, Aerodyne Research Inc. and University of Helsinki, Finland

Award Citation: For pioneering research on gas-aqueous atmospheric chemistry and the development of the aerosol mass spectrometer, which has revolutionized atmospheric aerosol measurements.

ACS Award for Creative Invention

Sponsored by the ACS Corporation Associates

Richard B. Silverman, Northwestern University

Award Citation: For his fundamental enzyme inhibitor work resulting in his invention of pregabalin, which has become the blockbuster drug LyricaTM, marketed by Pfizer for fibromyalgia, neuropathic pain, spinal cord injury pain, and epilepsy.

ACS Award for Creative Work in Fluorine Chemistry

Sponsored by the ACS Division of Fluorine Chemistry

Antonio Togni, ETH Zurich, Switzerland

Award Citation: For research on electrophilic trifluoromethylation that combines rational experimental design, comprehensive analysis of mechanism, and detailed interpretation of structural influences on bonding and reactivity.

ACS Award for Creative Work in Synthetic Organic Chemistry

Sponsored by MilliporeSigma

Matthew S. Sigman, University of Utah

Award Citation: For his creative, seminal work in synthetic organic chemistry, especially his innovative contributions to the Wacker oxidation and Heck reaction.

ACS Award for Distinguished Service in the Advancement of Inorganic Chemistry

Sponsored by Strem Chemicals, Inc.

William B. Tolman, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

Award Citation: For impactful contributions to our understanding of copper centers in biology and catalysis, and outstanding leadership in service to the inorganic chemistry and larger community.

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

Sponsored by The Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation

Saundra Y. McGuire, Louisiana State University

Award Citation: For her distinguished service encouraging underrepresented students to reach their full potential by teaching them metacognitive learning strategies and mentoring them to success.

ACS Award for Encouraging Women into Careers in the Chemical Sciences

Sponsored by The Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation

Judith M. Iriarte-Gross, Middle Tennessee State University

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

ACS Award for Research at an Undergraduate Institution

Sponsored by Research Corporation for Science Advancement

Maria Hepel, State University of New York at Potsdam

Award Citation: For fostering and mentoring innovative undergraduate research in diverse fields of public concern related to human health, environmental monitoring and remediation, energy conversion, and nanotechnology.

ACS Award for Team Innovation

Sponsored by the ACS Corporation Associates

Robert A. DeVries, R DeVries Consulting, LLC

Philip E. Garrou, Microelectronic Consultants of NC

Carol E. Mohler, The Dow Chemical Company

Eric S. Moyer, LORD Corporation

Theodore M. Stokich, Jr., The Dow Chemical Company

Award Citation: For participating on a Dow Chemical team in the 1990s that developed a high-performance polymeric material, benzocyclobutene, which enabled the microelectronics industry to miniaturize integrated circuit packaging.

ACS Award in Analytical Chemistry

Sponsored by Battelle Memorial Institute

Donald F. Hunt, University of Virginia

Award Citation: For pioneering efforts to develop mass spectrometry methods and instrumemtation that facilitated characterization of peptides and proteins and provided the foundation for the field of proteomics.

ACS Award in Applied Polymer Science

Sponsored by Eastman Chemical Company

Zhenan Bao, Stanford University

Award Citation: For pioneering work on the design, processing, and applications of polymer electronic materials for flexible and stretchable electronics.

ACS Award in Chromatography

Sponsored by MilliporeSigma

Robert T. Kennedy, University of Michigan

Award Citation: For the development of innovative techniques in miniaturization of chemical separations and microfluidics for highly sensitive analysis of biological compounds.

ACS Award in Colloid Chemistry

Sponsored by Colgate-Palmolive Co.

Nicholas A. Kotov, University of Michigan

Award Citation: For creative foundational studies of self-assembly phenomena of nanoparticles on surfaces and in dispersions.

ACS Award in Industrial Chemistry 

Sponsored by the ACS Division of Industrial & Engineering Chemistry

Jane Frommer, IBM Research

Award Citation: For pioneering the use of STM/AFM in organic materials, for fundamental studies of the solution state of electronically conducting polymers, and for extensive community involvement.

ACS Award in Inorganic Chemistry

Sponsored by the Aldrich Chemical Company, LLC

Lawrence Que, Jr., University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

Award Citation: For his many contributions to the field of inorganic chemistry that have profoundly impacted our understanding of the nature of high-valent iron centers in biology.

ACS Award in Organometallic Chemistry

Sponsored by The Dow Chemical Company Foundation

Marcetta Y. Darensbourg, Texas A&M University

Award Citation: For insight and application of the fundamental principles of organometallic chemistry to hydrogenase enzyme active sites and synthetic analogues as foundational bioorganometallic molecules.

ACS Award in Polymer Chemistry

 Sponsored by ExxonMobil Chemical Company

Murugappan Muthukumar, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Award Citation: For incisive and ground-breaking analysis of fundamental problems across the full spectrum of polymer chemistry, especially with respect to charged polymers.

ACS Award in Pure Chemistry

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

Neal K. Devaraj, University of California, San Diego

Award Citation: For his outstanding accomplishments in bioconjugation chemistry, which include the development of new reactions for cellular imaging and the assembly of artificial membranes.

ACS Award in Separations Science and Technology

Sponsored by Waters Corporation

Rakesh Agrawal, Purdue University

Award Citation: For novel and fundamental insights in the synthesis of energy efficient distillation and membranes based separation processes, and their application in numerous industrial plants.

ACS Award in Surface Chemistry 

Sponsored by ACS Division of Colloid and Surface Chemistry 

Cynthia Friend, Harvard University

Award Citation: For her paradigmatic developments in the mechanistic understanding of oxygen-assisted catalytic cycles on gold surfaces and their implementation to nanoporous gold catalysts under realistic conditions.

ACS Award in the Chemistry of Materials

Sponsored by DuPont

Douglas A. Keszler, Oregon State University

Award Citation: For pioneering contributions to design and development of functional materials, including nonlinear optical crystals, transistor insulators and semiconductors, solar absorbers, and high-resolution inorganic patterning materials.

ACS Award in Theoretical Chemistry

Sponsored by the ACS Division of Physical Chemistry

Peter Pulay, University of Arkansas

Award Citation: For the analytical gradient method, NMR parameter calculations, local correlation concept, and direct inversion in the iterative subspace technique.

Award for Volunteer Service to the American Chemical Society

Sponsored by the American Chemical Society

D. Richard Cobb, Eastman Kodak Company (Retired)

Award Citation: For his exemplary service to the ACS as a leader at the local, regional, and national levels, which has had a wide-ranging impact on the Society.

Roger Adams Award in Organic Chemistry

Sponsored by Organic Reactions, Inc. and Organic Syntheses, Inc.

Hisashi Yamamoto, Chubu University, Japan

Award Citation: For pioneering and highly creative contributions to the development of methods for the catalytic asymmetric synthesis for carbon–carbon, carbon–oxygen, and carbon–nitrogen bond formations.

Alfred Bader Award in Bioinorganic or Bioorganic Chemistry

Sponsored by the Alfred R. Bader Fund

Kim D. Janda, The Scripps Research Institute

Award Citation: For his ability to integrate the principles of chemistry, molecular biology, immunology, and neuropharmacology to create molecules engendered with both biological and chemical function.  

Earle B. Barnes Award for Leadership in Chemical Research Management

Sponsored by The Dow Chemical Company Foundation

Laurie E. Locascio, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

Award Citation: For outstanding leadership, vision, and creativity in promoting high-impact research and standards development to serve the chemical and chemical engineering communities.

Ronald Breslow Award for Achievement in Biomimetic Chemistry

Sponsored by the Ronald Breslow Award Endowment

Benjamin G. Davis, University of Oxford, England

Award Citation: For the development of selective and benign bond-forming strategies applied to biology, enabling functional mimicry of synthetic biomolecules, bioconjugates, cells, and viruses in vitro and in vivo.

Herbert C. Brown Award for Creative Research in Synthetic Methods

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

Bruce H. Lipshutz, University of California, Santa Barbara

Award Citation: For more than 30 years of contributions of reagents and methodologies, many of which are commercially available and routinely used in synthetic organic chemistry.

James Bryant Conant Award in High School Chemistry Teaching

Sponsored by the Journal of Chemical Education and ChemEd X

Laura E. Slocum, Heathwood Hall Episcopal School, South Carolina

Award Citation: For inspiring students to learn the beauty of our molecular world and for contributions to chemistry education as a researcher, editor, and exemplary educator.

Arthur C. Cope Award

Sponsored by the Arthur C. Cope Fund

Carolyn Bertozzi, Stanford University and Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Award Citation: For pioneering the field of bioorthogonal chemistry, and for its innovative applications to the field of glycobiology

Arthur C. Cope Late Career Scholars Award

Sponsored by the Arthur C. Cope Fund

M.G. Finn, The Scripps Research Institute and the Georgia Institute of Technology

Award Citation: For the development of chemical ligation methods and platforms, applied to bioconjugation and materials chemistry.

Thomas R. Hoye, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

Award Citation: For creative contributions across an impressively broad spectrum of organic chemistry, including the development of the hexadehydro-Diels-Alder (HDDA) reaction.

Kathlyn A. Parker, Stony Brook University

Award Citation: For outstanding and creative contributions to the synthesis of structurally complex organic targets.

Mikiko Sodeoka, RIKEN, Japan

Award Citation: For her seminal contributions to the fields of transition metal chemistry, synthetic organic chemistry, organofluorine chemistry, and chemical biology through the development of innovative methodologies and tools.

Arthur C. Cope Mid Career Scholars Award

Sponsored by the Arthur C. Cope Fund

Sherry R. Chemler, State University of New York at Buffalo

Award Citation: For the development of stereoselective copper-catalyzed alkene difunctionalization reactions and their applications in the synthesis of saturated oxygen and nitrogen heterocycles.

P. Andrew Evans, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario

Award Citation: For his development of innovative rhodium-catalyzed reactions and their applications to the synthesis of biologically relevant complex molecules.  

Paul J. Hergenrother, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Award Citation: For innovative use and application of organic synthesis to solve critical problems at the frontiers of chemical biology and translational drug discovery.  

Christopher D. Vanderwal, University of California, Irvine

Award Citation: For the development of efficient chemical syntheses of structurally complex and biologically significant natural products.

Arthur C. Cope Early Career Scholars Award

Sponsored by the Arthur C. Cope Fund

Alejandro Briseno, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Award Citation: For his outstanding accomplishments on the design and synthesis of unconventional, chemically stable polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and their charge transport properties.  

Guangbin Dong, University of Texas at Austin and University of Chicago

Award Citation: For his outstanding accomplishments on transition-metal catalyzed synthetic methods involving carbon-carbon and carbon-hydrogen bond activation.  

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

Sponsored by the Pfizer Endowment Fund

Neil K. Garg, University of California, Los Angeles

Award Citation: For breakthroughs in synthetic methodology and exceptional achievements in natural product synthesis.


F. Albert Cotton Award in Synthetic Inorganic Chemistry

Sponsored by the F. Albert Cotton Endowment Fund

Pingyun Feng, University of California, Riverside

Award Citation: For her advances in the synthesis of metal chalcogenide clusters and her crystal engineering of porous semiconductors, coordination polymers, and photocatalysts.

Peter Debye Award in Physical Chemistry

Sponsored by DuPont

Bruce J. Berne, Columbia University

Award Citation: For pioneering theoretical and computer simulation studies of liquid state and biomolecular systems, and for dramatically increasing the impact of these methods in physical chemistry.

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

Sponsored by Waters Corporation

Vicki H. Wysocki, The Ohio State University

Award Citation: For her outstanding accomplishments in the development of surface-induced dissociation for native mass spectrometry structural characterization of non-covalent complexes.

Francis P. Garvan–John M. Olin Medal

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

Barbara J. Finlayson-Pitts, University of California, Irvine

Award Citation: For her dedication to serving the chemical research community and for her inspirational work on interpreting science for the general public.  

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

Sponsored by the American Chemical Society

Thomas Hager, University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication

Award Citation: For displaying a magnificent range of scientific mastery that, time and again, has enabled him to demystify chemistry and other sciences for the public.

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

Sponsored by the Gray Award Endowment

Nilay Hazari, Yale University

Award Citation: For creative contributions to the elucidation of inorganic and organometallic reaction mechanisms.  

Ernest Guenther Award in the Chemistry of Natural Products

Sponsored by Givaudan

Stephen F. Martin, The University of Texas at Austin

Award Citation: For creative invention and development of new methods and strategies and their application to concise syntheses of a remarkably diverse array of natural products.

Kathryn C. Hach Award for Entrepreneurial Success 

Sponsored by the Kathryn C. Hach Award Fund

David R. Walt, Tufts University

Award Citation: For inventing and commercializing microwell arrays that benefit research, medicine, and agriculture with tremendous impact on the economy through job and value creation.

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

Sponsored by ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company

Salvatore Torquato, Princeton University

Award Citation: For his numerous, unifying theoretical contributions to the statistical mechanics of liquids and glasses, and how the inter-particle interactions present discriminate among alternative crystal structures.

E. V. Murphree Award in Industrial and Engineering Chemistry

Sponsored by ExxonMobil Research and Engineering

Eleftherios Terry Papoutsakis, University of Delaware

Award Citation: For technology-enabling fundamental contributions in cell-culture engineering, metabolic engineering, and stem-cell biotechnology.  

Nobel Laureate Signature Award for Graduate Education in Chemistry

Sponsored by AvantorTM Performance Materials, Inc.

Junqi Li (student), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Martin D. Burke (preceptor), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Award Citation: For transforming iterative cross-coupling with MIDA boronates into a powerfully simple and increasingly general automated platform for complex natural products synthesis.  

James Flack Norris Award in Physical Organic Chemistry

Sponsored by the ACS Northeastern Section

Robert A. Moss, Rutgers University

Award Citation: For pioneering research on carbenes, carbocations, diazirines, and reactive intermediates in general, coupled with sustained pedagogical contributions to physical organic chemistry.

George A. Olah Award in Hydrocarbon or Petroleum Chemistry

Sponsored by the George A. Olah Award Endowment

Robert Howard Grubbs, California Instititute of Technology

Award Citation: For his fundamental work and revolutionary contributions for converting hydrocarbons to new molecules, polymers, and materials, using olefin metathesis catalysis.  

George C. Pimentel Award in Chemical Education 

Sponsored by Cengage Learning and the ACS Division of Chemical Education

Thomas Holme, Iowa State University

Award Citation: For his pioneering work in developing curriculum materials for pre-engineering students and advancing our understanding of measurement of student learning in chemistry.  

Glenn T. Seaborg Award for Nuclear Chemistry

Sponsored by the ACS Division of Nuclear Chemistry and Technology

David L. Clark, Los Alamos National Laboratory

Award Citation: For innovative systematic studies of the fundamental chemistry of actinide elements using novel experimental techniques that give new insights into chemical bonding of 5f electrons.

Gabor A. Somorjai Award for Creative Research in Catalysis

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

John E. Bercaw, California Institute of Technology

Award Citation: For the elucidation of detailed mechanisms of organometallic reactions that comprise catalytic cycles.

E. Bright Wilson Award in Spectroscopy

Sponsored by the ACS Division of Physical Chemistry

David J. Nesbitt, JILA/NIST and University of Colorado, Boulder

Award Citation: For his outstanding contributions to the understanding of molecular structures and reaction dynamics by high resolution and single-particle spectroscopic methods.

Ahmed Zewail Award in Ultrafast Science and Technology 

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

Stephen R. Leone, University of California, Berkeley

Award Citation: For his pioneering development of femtosecond and attosecond extreme ultraviolet pulse measurements for chemical dynamics.

National Fresenius Award

Sponsored by Phi Lambda Upsilon, The National Chemistry Honor Society

Neal K. Devaraj, University of California, San Diego

Award Citation: For his outstanding contributions toward the development of tetrazine ligations.