Richard F. Heck (1931 – 2015)

Richard F. Heck (1931 – 2015)

Author: ChemViews (Photo: University of Delaware)

Richard F. Heck, one of the 2010 Nobel Laureates in Chemistry, has passed away on October 9, 2015.

Heck received the Nobel Prize together with Ei-ichi Negishi and Akira Suzuki “for palladium-catalyzed cross couplings in organic synthesis”. The eponymous Heck reaction allows the formation of carbon-carbon bonds, and is one of the most widely used catalytic reactions in organic synthesis.

Richard F. Heck was born in Springfield, MA, USA, on August 15, 1931. He studied chemistry at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), USA, where he received his Ph.D. in physical organic chemistry in 1954 under the supervision of Saul Winstein. After postdoctoral work at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich, he returned to UCLA in 1955. Heck then went to on to work as a researcher at Hercules Powder Co., Wilmington, DE, USA. In 1971, Richard F. Heck joined the faculty of the University of Delaware, Newark, USA. He remained in Delaware and retired as Willis F. Harrington Professor in 1989.

Among other honors, Professor Heck received the Wallace Carothers Award from the American Chemical Society (ACS) in 2005, the Herbert C. Brown Award from the ACS in 2006, the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2010, the Glenn T. Seaborg Medal from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 2011, and several honorary doctorates.


Selected Publications by Richard F. Heck

 

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