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News Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 72004

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News
C. Djerassi Receives German
Distinction
The Great Cross of Merit of the Federal
Republic of Germany was awarded to
Carj Djerassi for his many achievements
in chemistry, as well as
for the social impact of
his research. In November 2003, he was keynote
speaker and panel chairman at the Intergovernmental Forum on Chemical Safety in Bangkok.
His Essay on “Chemical
Safety in a Vulnerable
World—A Manifesto”
will be published in AnC. Djerassi
gewandte Chemie soon.
Djerassi
became
known and widely honored as one of
the originators of “the pill”, for leading
the small team at Syntex (Mexico)
where the orally active ovulation inhibitor norethisterone was first synthesized
in 1951. Further research in the same
year led him and his colleagues to the
synthesis of cortisone from a plant raw
material and to many other important
discoveries in steroid chemistry. As an
author, he not only wrote over 1200
scientific publications, but since 1988
has also published five novels in the
genre “science in fiction” and four plays
as “science in theater”. One of them,
written jointly with Roald Hofmann,
deals with the discovery of oxygen and
the centenary of the Nobel prize.[1]
Djerassi supports young artists through
the Djerassi Resident Artists Program
near Woodside, CA (USA) and owns
one of the most important private collections of paintings by Paul Klee, which
is exhibited in the Museum of Modern
Art in San Francisco, CA (USA).
776
Djerassi was born in 1923 in Vienna,
Austria, fled to the US in 1939, and
received a PhD in chemistry from the
University of Wisconsin (USA) in 1945.
Subsequently, he worked as a research
chemist for CIBA Pharmaceutical
(Summit, NJ) and as a chemical research
director for Syntex (Mexico City). In
1952, he accepted a position as a Professor of Chemistry at Wayne State
University in Detroit. In 1959, he moved
to Stanford University, where he became Professor Emeritus in 2002. The
Austrian government presented him in
1999 with the Austrian Cross of Honor
for Science and Art, and in 2003, on the
occasion of his 80th birthday, with
Austrian citizenship.
Novartis Award for T. Bach
Thorsten Bach, Professor of Organic
Chemistry at the Technische UniversitBt
MCnchen (Germany) received the Novartis European Young Investigator
Award in Chemistry. The award and
prize money of SFr. 100 000 is presented
annually to an outstanding scientist
under the age of 40 who is a European
resident and is
active in the
areas of organic
or
bioorganic
chemistry in the
broadest sense.
Bach studied
with G. Olah
(University of
Southern California), who received the Nobel
T. Bach
Prize in Chemistry in 1994, and obtained a PhD under
the guidance of M. Reetz from the
University of Marburg, Germany. He
carried out postdoctoral research with
D. Evans (Harvard University) and
obtained a habilitation from the University of MCnster (Germany) in 1996.
He became a Professor in Marburg
(Germany) in 1997 and assumed his
current position in Munich in 2000. His
research is devoted to photochemistry,
total synthesis of natural products, drug
design, and organometallic chemistry.
His latest Communication in Angewandte Chemie details the “[2 þ 2] Photocycloaddition of Tetronates”.[2]
2004 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
www.angewandte.org
Peptide Award for D. Seebach and
S. Kent
The Vincent du Vigneau Award of the
American Peptide Society is sponsored
by Bachem Inc. and given for outstanding contributions to peptide science
every two years. Du Vigneau (then
Cornell University) received the Nobel
Prize in Chemistry in 1955 for his work
on biochemically important sulfur compounds, especially for the first synthesis
of a polypeptide hormone. In 2004, the
award will be presented to Professors
Dieter Seebach (ETH Zurich, Switzerland) and Stephen B. H. Kent (University of Chicago, IL, USA). The award
lectures will be presented during the
Gordon Research
Conference on the
Chemistry and Biology of Peptides in
February 2004.
Seebach, a former member of AngewandteIs Editorial
Board, received his
PhD from the University of Karlsruhe,
Germany, under the D. Seebach
guidance of R. Criegee. He was a postdoctoral fellow with
E. J. Corey (Harvard University), became a Professor in Giessen in 1971, and
moved to the ETH in 1977. His research
covers the development of new methods
of organic synthesis in its broadest
meaning. A Review of his research on
b-peptides, which he is recognized for,
will appear in Angewandte Chemie later
this year. It is the twelfth Review he has
contributed to the journal in almost 30
years on a variety of
topics such as umpolung, the use of Tiand Zr-nucleophiles,
and asymmetric synthesis.
Kent earned his
BSc and MSc degrees from Victoria
and Massey University in New Zealand
and a PhD from the
S. Kent
University of California,
Berkeley
(1974). He carried out postdoctoral
research with R. B. Merrifield
(Rockefeller University, NY, Nobel
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2004, 43, 776 – 777
Angewandte
Chemie
Prize in Chemistry 1984) and subsequently took up a number of positions,
which included appointments at the
California Institute of Technology, Bond
University (Queensland, Australia), and
the Scripps Research Institute (USA) as
well as in industry before he became a
Professor (2001) and eventually Director of the Institute for Biophysical
Dynamics (2003) at the University of
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2004, 43, 776 – 777
Chicago. His research is devoted to the
elucidation of the molecular basis of the
biological functions of proteins through
the application of the tools of chemistry.
He is recognized for the development of
general approaches to the total chemical
synthesis of proteins and the application
thereof to the study of structure – activity relationships of proteins of biomed-
www.angewandte.org
ical importance, notably the HIV-1 protease.[3]
[1] C. Djerassi, R. Hoffmann, Oxygen, WileyVCH, Weinheim, 2001.
[2] M. Kemmler, T. Bach, Angew. Chem.
2003, 115, 4973; Angew. Chem. Int. Ed.
2003, 42, 4824.
[3] S. Kent, J. Pept. Sci. 2003, 9, 574.
2004 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
777
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