The August Wilhelm von Hofmann Gold Medal of the Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker (GDCh, German Chemical Society) has been awarded to Sason Shaik (left), The Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel, and Martin Quack (right), ETH Zurich, Switzerland. The award was presented at the opening ceremony of the 4th EuCheMS congress in Prague, Czech Republic. The laudatio was held by Walter Thiel, Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung, Mülheim an der Ruhr, Germany.
Sason Shaik studied chemistry at Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan, Tel Aviv District, Israel. He was awarded a Fullbright Fellowship to study at the University of Washington, USA, where he gained his Ph.D. in 1979. After a year as a post-doctoral researcher with Roald Hoffmann at Cornell University, USA, he accepted the position of Lecturer at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel, and became Professor in 1988. In 1992 he moved to The Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel, where he is Professor and the Director of the Lise Meitner-Minerva Center for Computational Quantum Chemistry. Shaik is also a member of the Editorial Board for several journals, including the Journal of Computational Chemistry and the Israel Journal of Chemistry.
His fields of interest are chemical reactivity and bonding, where he has developed a general valence bond model for reactivity and derived new concepts for chemical bonding. His current interests are in bond activation by metal oxides and enzymes like cytochrome P450, where he has developed the concepts of two-state-reactivity and chameleon enzymes.
Martin Quack studied chemistry at the Technical University Darmstadt, Germany, and spent a year at each of the University of Grenoble, France, the University of Göttingen, Germany, and the Max Planck Institutes of Spectroscopy and of Biophysical Chemistry, Göttingen, before undertaking his Ph.D. at ETH Zurich, Switzerland. From 1975–1976 he worked as a post-doctoral researcher in the group of William H. Miller, University of California, Berkeley, USA. He gained his Habilitation from the University of Göttingen in 1978 and was appointed to Professor there soon afterwards. In 1982, he moved to the University of Bonn, Germany, and this was followed by returning to ETH Zurich a year later.
His research interests include investigating fundamental, physical-chemical molecular primary processes such as fully quantum mechanical descriptions of molecular motion. His experimental studies concentrate on high resolution infrared spectroscopy, infrared multiphoton excitation, and time resolved kinetic spectroscopy for practical applications relating to atmospheric spectroscopy and to isotope separation.
Selected publications by Sason Shaik:
- Hydrogen-Abstraction Reactivity Patterns from A to Y: The Valence Bond Way,
Wenzhen Lai, Chunsen Li, Hui Chen, Sason Shaik,
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2012, 51(23), 5556–5578.
- How Can Theory Predict the Selectivity of Palladium-Catalyzed Cross-Coupling of Pristine Aromatic Molecules?
Rinat Meir, Sebastian Kozuch, Andreas Uhe, Sason Shaik,
Chem. Eur. J. 2011, 17(27), 7623–7631.
- The Inverted Bond in [1.1.1]Propellane is a Charge-Shift Bond,
Wei Wu, Junjing Gu, Jinshuai Song, Sason Shaik, Philippe C. Hiberty,
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2009, 48(8), 1407–1410.
Selected publications by Martin Quack:
- High Resolution Rovibrational Spectroscopy of Chiral and Aromatic Compounds,
Sieghard Albert, Martin Quack,
ChemPhysChem 2007, 8(9), 1271–1281
- Isotopic Chirality and Molecular Parity Violation,
Robert Berger, Guido Laubender, Martin Quack, Achim Sieben, Jürgen Stohner, Martin Willeke,
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2005, 44(23), 3623–3626.
- How Important is Parity Violation for Molecular and Biomolecular Chirality?
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2002, 41(24), 4618–4630.