2019 Wolf Prize in Chemistry

2019 Wolf Prize in Chemistry

Author: ChemViews Magazine

The 2019 Wolf Prize in Chemistry has been awarded to Stephen L. Buchwald, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, CA, USA (pictured left), and John F. Hartwig, University of California (UC), Berkeley, USA (pictured right). Buchwald and Hartwig are honored “for the development of efficient transition-metal catalysts that have revolutionized drug manufacturing, leading to breakthroughs in molecule and synthetics design”.

Buchwald’s research focuses on organic synthesis, physical organic chemistry, and organometallic chemistry. His aim is to devise useful catalytic processes. Hartwig’s research interests include organic and organometallic synthesis as well as mechanistic analysis of transition-metal catalysis.

The Wolf Prize has been awarded annually by the Wolf Foundation since 1978 and honors contributions to the sciences and to the arts “in the interest of mankind and friendly relations among people”. It comes with USD 100,000 in prize money. The award was presented during a ceremony at the Knesset in Jerusalem, Israel, on May 30, 2019.

Stephen L. Buchwald was born in 1955 in Bloomington, IN, USA. He studied chemistry at Brown University, Providence, RI, USA, and at Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA, where he received his Ph.D. in 1982 under the supervision of Jeremy R. Knowles. He was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), Pasadena, CA, USA, with Professor Robert H. Grubbs. In 1984, he became Assistant Professor of Chemistry at MIT. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 1989 and to Full Professor in 1993 and named the Camille Dreyfus Professor of Chemistry at MIT in 1997.

Among many other honors, Stephen L. Buchwald has received the Award in Organometallic Chemistry from the American Chemical Society (ACS) in 2000, the ACS’s Award for Creative Work in Synthetic Organic Chemistry in 2006, the Arthur C. Cope Award from the ACS in 2013, and the Linus Pauling Medal from the ACS in 2014. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a Member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. He serves as a consultant to a number of companies and, among other commitments, he is a member of the Editorial Board of Advanced Synthesis & Catalysis.

John F. Hartwig was born near Chicago, IL, USA, in 1964. He received a B.A. from Princeton University, NJ, USA, in 1986 and a Ph.D.from the University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA, in 1990. After postdoctoral research with Stephen J. Lippard at MIT, he started his independent career at Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA, in 1992. He moved to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA, in 2006, and became Henry Rapoport Chair in Chemistry at UC Berkeley in 2011.

Among numerous other honors, John F. Hartwig has received the 2006 ACS Award in Organometallic Chemistry from the American Chemical Society (ACS), the 2008 Mukaiyama Award from the Society of Synthetic Organic Chemistry of Japan, the 2014 Nagoya Gold Medal Award, and the 2018 Tetrahedron Prize for Creativity in Organic Chemistry. He is a Member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. Among other commitments, Hartwig is a member of the International Advisory Board of Angewandte Chemie.

Selected Publications by Stephen L. Buchwald

Selected Publications by John F. Hartwig

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