July 1, 2002
Volume 80, Number 26
CENEAR 80 26
Columbia University chemistry professor
Nicholas J. Turro received one of six National Science Foundation
Director's Awards for Distinguished Teaching Scholars at a ceremony
at the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in Washington, D.C., on
June 19. The awards, which were created in 2001, honor academic
scientists who have developed innovative ways of teaching
undergraduates science, engineering, technology, and math. Each
winner receives $300,000 over a four-year period to disseminate the
scientist's work to other institutions.
Turro has been instrumental in bringing the tools of
information technology to science education at Columbia. He has
developed a number of Web-based tools and software for chemical
education, including the IR Tutor for teaching infrared
spectroscopy. In 1997, he created a Web-based resource center to
help science faculty develop information technology teaching tools.
In 1999, Columbia expanded Turro's model to set up
the universitywide Center for New Media for Teaching & Learning,
which helps faculty create interactive learning programs to enhance
both undergraduate and graduate education. In addition, he has
created a summer research program that has brought undergraduates
from the University of Richmond, in Virginia, and Claremont Colleges
and Diablo Valley Junior College, in California, to Columbia to work
on projects in spectroscopy and photochemistry.
Born in Middletown, Conn., Turro earned a B.A. in
chemistry from Wesleyan University in 1960. After receiving a Ph.D.
in chemistry from California Institute of Technology in 1963, he
joined Columbia in 1964. He is a member of NAS and the American
Academy of Arts & Sciences, and he has received numerous awards
for his work in photochemistry and spectroscopy.
Utah Award Goes To Armentrout
B. Armentrout, distinguished professor and
chairman of the chemistry department at the University of Utah,
received the Utah Award from the ACS Central Utah and Salt Lake
Sections in June. The annual award is for outstanding achievement in
chemistry in the state of Utah.
Armentrout's research group seeks to understand
reactions involved in catalysis, surface chemistry, organometallic
chemistry, and plasma chemistry from a fundamental viewpoint. He has
led his research group in the development of the technology and
theory necessary to extract precise thermochemical data of chemical
reactions using mass spectroscopy as the primary tool. He has over
300 publications to his credit.
A fellow of the American Physical Society and the
American Association for the Advancement of Science, Armentrout
received the Biemann Medal from the American Society of Mass
Spectrometry last year. He is a former Sloan Fellow, a Dreyfus
Teacher-Scholar, and an NSF Presidential Young Investigator. He
received a B.S.from Case Western Reserve University in 1975 and a
Ph.D. in chemistry from California Institute of Technology in
Two Medicinal Fellows To Give
The winners of the ACS
Division of Medicinal Chemistry 2001–02
Predoctoral Fellowship Award will present their research results at
the ACS national meeting in Boston at the Fellowship Award Symposium
on Monday morning, Aug. 19.
The division annually awards five predoctoral
fellowships for a period of one year to a third- or fourth-year
graduate student engaged in medicinal chemistry research. Each
fellowship is sponsored by a pharmaceutical company and consists of
a $20,000 stipend and travel funds to attend the fall ACS national
Robert Hughes received his B.S.
in chemistry and mathematics from the University of Arizona in 1997.
While an undergraduate, he performed research with Victor J. Hruby
at the University of Arizona and Robert W. Armstrong at the
University of California, Los Angeles, as an NSF summer intern. As a
graduate student at Scripps Research Institute in the group of
professor K. C. Nicolaou, he has focused on the synthetic chemistry
of the gyclopeptide antibiotics and the development of combinatorial
techniques for the rapid discovery of lead compounds. This award is
sponsored by Abbott.
Henry E. Pelish is a graduate
student at Harvard University in the laboratories of Matthew D.
Shair and Tomas Kirchhausen. His research has focused on the
synthesis and study of new biologically active small molecules.
Through the solid-phase synthesis of 3,000 complex small molecules
and image-based screening, he identified a novel inhibitor of export
from the Golgi apparatus. Currently, he is using this inhibitor to
study membrane sorting and export. Before beginning his Ph.D.
studies, Pelish studied nonribosomal peptide biosynthesis in the
laboratory of Christopher T. Walsh at Harvard University. He
received a B.S. in civil engineering from Johns Hopkins University
and an M.S. in environmental engineering from Stanford University.
His engineering research focused on the use of microorganisms to
metabolize hazardous chemicals. This award is sponsored by
Kristi L. Kiick has been named
the recipient of the 2002 Unilever Award for
Outstanding Graduate Research. She will receive her award at the ACS
national meeting in Boston in August.
The Unilever Award, administered by the Polymer
Education Committee of the Polymer Chemistry and the Polymeric
Materials: Science & Engineering Divisions, was established in
1991 and is sponsored by Unilever, a global manufacturer of consumer
products, foods, and specialty chemicals. The award, which consists
of a cash prize of $2,000, a plaque, and travel expenses, recognizes
and encourages outstanding graduate research in the design,
synthesis, and physical chemistry of polymers.
Kiick's research involves the preparation of
proteins using nonnatural amino acids with functional groups
different from those of the natural amino acids. By manipulating the
activity of a single enzyme in the bacterial host, she is able to
prepare engineered proteins with novel chemical and physical
properties. She has focused on replacing the amino acid methionine
with methionine analogs that carry chemical groups that are unusual
in biology, such as alkenes, alkynes, and azides.
Kiick earned a B.S. in chemistry from the University
of Delaware in 1989, an M.S. in chemistry from the University of
Georgia in 1991, and a Ph.D. in polymer science and engineering from
the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, in 2001.
Copyright © 2002 American Chemical