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July 1, 2002
Volume 80, Number 26
CENEAR 80 26 p. 31
ISSN 0009-2347


NSF Honors Turro

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

Peter 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 1980.



Two Medicinal Fellows To Give Presentations

The winners of the ACS Division of Medicinal Chemistry 200102 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 meeting.

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 Aventis.



2002 Unilever Award

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.


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Copyright 2002 American Chemical Society

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