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Hoveyda Earns American Chemical Society Honor

Amir Hoveyda (Photo by Gary Wayne Gilbert)

By Ed Hayward | Chronicle Staff

Published: Sep. 19, 2013

Chemistry Department Chairman Amir Hoveyda will receive the 2014 American Chemical Society Award for Creative Work in Synthetic Organic Chemistry, according to an announcement from the ACS national meeting in Indianapolis.

Hoveyda, the Joseph T. and Patricia Vanderslice Millennium Professor of Chemistry, will be among the national award recipients honored at the ACS annual meeting this coming March in Dallas. Hoveyda’s award is sponsored by Aldrich Chemical Co. LLC.

Hoveyda said he is honored to receive the recognition, but credited the work of students who have been part of his laboratory research group for more than two decades.

“This prestigious award, the most time-honored in the field of chemical synthesis, more than anything underscores the exceptional degree of creativity, dedication and perseverance demonstrated by generations of student scholars in my research group in the past 23 years,” Hoveyda said.

Hoveyda’s research, which has been published in journals such as Nature and Nature Chemistry, involves designing new catalysts for chemical synthesis that are sustainable, easy and cost-effective to access, and which generate valuable products of exceptional purity with high efficiency. His research group focuses on transformations crucial to advances in the life sciences and medicine.

Hoveyda has been ranked among the world’s Top 100 Chemists by Thomson Reuters. Among his more notable honors is a 2005 National Institutes of Health MERIT Award — an honorific 10-year grant given to the top five percent of approved applications — as well as the 2010 Yamada-Koga Prize, an international award given annually by the Chemical Society of Japan to an organic chemist who has had a major impact in the field of synthesis of optically active compounds.

The ACS National Awards Program encourages “the advancement of chemistry in all its branches, the promotion of research in chemical science and industry, [and] the improvement of the qualifications and usefulness of chemists,” according to the ACS website.

Interim Provost and Dean of Faculties Joseph Quinn said the ACS national award is a fitting tribute to Hoveyda’s distinguished research career.

“Professor Hoveyda’s research initiatives have been honored around the world for their innovation, scientific merit and thought leadership,” said Quinn. “This latest honor from America’s preeminent organization of chemists is another well-deserved recognition of Amir’s outstanding work.”