University of Rochester

Professor Wins Prestigious ACS Cope Scholar Award

December 28, 2005

Robert K. Boeckman Jr., Marshall D. Gates Jr. Professor of Chemistry, will receive a 2006 Arthur S. Cope Scholar Award, considered to be a top honor in organic chemistry. The American Chemical Society (ACS) issues awards in each of approximately 50 categories to researchers throughout the nation at the end of each year, recognizing scientists who have distinguished themselves in a broad range of fields of chemistry. The Cope award consists of a $5,000 certificate and a $40,000 unrestricted research grant.

"Professor Boeckman has been at the forefront of discovering improved methods for the synthesis of organic compounds for many year," says Joanna Olmsted, Interim Vice Provost and Dean of the College Faculty of the University. "I am delighted for Bob, the College and the University that the American Chemical Society has recognized these significant contributions."

Boeckman's research has focused on new ways to construct complex organic molecules controlling the three-dimensional spatial arrangement of atoms. He develops and employs new organometallic chemistry to selectively construct or transform complex molecules. Using the methods developed by Boeckman, organic chemists are able to construct complex molecules possessing precise three-dimensional structures that can function as molecular probes of the interaction of small molecules with proteins and nucleic acids. The molecules can serve as prototypes or leads in the development of human pharmaceutical agents.

Boeckman earned his doctorate in chemistry from Brandeis University and was a professor of chemistry at Wayne State University in Detroit before coming to the University of Rochester in 1980. In 2002, he was named the Marshall D. Gates Jr. Professor of Chemistry and has chaired the Department of Chemistry since 2003. He has been chair of the Organic Division of the American Chemical Society, and is currently an associate editor of the Journal of Organic Chemistry, and the vice president of Organic Syntheses, Inc., a nonprofit organization that publishes selected organic synthetic procedures that are independently checked for use by the organic synthesis research community in academia and industry. He also has received an A. P. Sloan Fellowship Award, and a National Institutes of Health Career Development Award.

The Arthur C. Cope Scholar Awards were established in 1984 by the ACS board of directors, on the recommendation of the ACS Division of Organic Chemistry, under the terms of the will of Arthur C. Cope.