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Satoshi Ômura Wins 2000 Nakanishi Prize

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  • Satoshi mura Wins 2000 Nakanishi Prize

    M illions of people in Africa and Latin America are free from the scourge of river blindness, thanks in great part to the work of Sa-toshi mura, a chemist who isolated ivermectin, a natural substance that

    proved to be ef-fective against river blindness and many other parasitic diseas-es. For this and other reasons, mura, president of Kitasato Insti-tute, Tokyo, will receive the 2000 Nakanishi Prize

    from the Chemical Society of Japan (CSJ). The American Chemical Society and CSJ alternate years in administer-ing this prize.

    The prize, which consists of $3,000, a bronze medal, and a certificate, is given to recognize and stimulate significant work that extends chemical and spec-troscopic methods to the study of im-portant biological phenomena. It was es-tablished in 1995 by the students and colleagues of Koji Nakanishi in the U.S. and Japan and by other members of the scientific community of both coun-tries who have benefited from his nur-turing of collaborative and interdisci-plinary science. Nakanishi is Centenni-al Professor of Chemistry at Columbia University.

    By devising new methods of isolation and cultivation of microorganisms as sources of bioactive substances, mura and coworkers have developed many original methods for screening natural substances and thus have discovered more than 120 types of novel bioactive compounds.

    Perhaps the most important com-pound isolated by mura is ivermectin, which has had a tremendously positive effect on the health of humans and ani-mals. Ivermectin is the best remedy for river blindness, which is caused by the parasitic worm Onchocerca volvurus. Some 20 million people have been in-fected by the parasite, and more than 2 million people have become blind. Since 1980, the World Health Organiza-tion has been involved in initiatives aim-ing to control onchocersiasis with iver-

    mectin. As a result, 33 million people have been treated and spared this crip-pling disease.

    More than 30 bioactive substances of microbial origin discovered by mura have attracted the attention of organic chemists, who have totally synthesized them, including avermectin, fraquino-cin, herbimycin, leucomycin A, prumy-cin, pryibpropenes, staurosporine, and vineomycin.

    Among his many honors, mura has received the Hoechst-Roussel Award from the American Society for Microbi-ology, the Pharmaceutical Society of Ja-pan Award, the Japan Academy Prize, the Charles Thorn Award of the Society of Industrial Microbiology, the Fujihara Award of the Fujihara Foundation of Sci-ence, and the Robert Koch Medal in Gold from the Robert Koch Foundation, Germany. He is a foreign associate of the National Academy of Sciences.^

    Genentech founders to receive Biotechnology Heritage Award

    Herbert W. Boyer and the late Robert A. Swanson, cofounders of Genentech, have been selected to receive the sec-ond annual Biotechnology Heritage Award. The Chemical Heritage Founda-tion (CHF) and the Biotechnology In-dustry Organization (BIO) established the award to recognize the extraordi-nary achievements of truly outstanding individuals whose careers help shape our scientific heritage. The award will be presented on March 28 at the BIO 2000 meeting in Boston.

    'Together, Swanson and Boyer were a formidable teamtheir vision, astute business acumen, and technical abilities remain unparalleled. With the public launch of Genentech in 1976, Boyer and Swanson created the biotechnology rev-olution of the late 1970s. Their contribu-tions to the biotechnology community are immeasurable," says Arnold Thack-ray, president of CHF.

    Boyer received a bachelor's degree in biology and chemistry from St. Vin-cent College in Pennsylvania and mas-ter's and Ph.D. degrees from the Uni-

    versity of Pittsburgh. Since 1976, Boyer has served as director of Genentech. He is also professor emeritus of biochemis-try and biophysics at the University of California, San Francisco, as well as chairman of the board for Allergan, a technology-driven global health care company.

    Among his many achievements, Boy-er is well known for his work in develop-ing recombinant DNA technology and has been the recipient of many presti-gious awards, including the Swiss Hel-mut Horten Research Award in 1993, the Industrial Research Institute Achievement Award in 1982, the Golden Plate Award in 1981, and the Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award in 1980.

    In 1976, at the age of 29, Swanson co-founded Genentech, serving as chief ex-ecutive officer and chairman of the board until 1996. Swanson, a venture capitalist, recognized the importance of the commercialization of genetic engi-neering in the early 1970s. In 1996, Swanson joined Tularik Inc. as chair-man of the board, were he remained until his untimely death last December (C&EN, Jan. 3, page 37). Tularik's president, David Goeddel, says, "Bob's vision and focus were legendary, but his true genius was his ability to moti-vate people to reach their potential."^

    David Bauer to receive Tess Award in Coatings David R. Bauer, senior staff technical specialist in the materials science de-partment of Ford Motor Co.'s research laboratory, will receive the Roy W. Tess Award in Coatings for 2000. The award is sponsored by the ACS Division of Polymeric Ma-terials: Science & Engineering. It will be presented Aug. 21 during the ACS national meeting in Washing-ton, D.C.

    Bauer is widely known for his re-search in the areas of mechanisms and kinetics of cure, network structure in high-solids coatings, flow-control and coating rheology, polymer photodegra-dation and stabilization, plastics charac-

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  • terization, and coating service life pre-diction. He has made extensive use of infrared spectroscopy to study the cross-linking kinetics of melamine form-aldehyde resins and isocyanates. He was the first to apply network models to calculate cross-link densities from chemical measurements. These calcula-tions compared well with physical mea-sures of cure and provided unique in-sights into cure windows for different technologies.

    Bauer has made fundamental mea-surements of coating rheology and de-veloped quantitative relationships be-tween rheological parameters, coating formulation parameters, and sag control agents. He has investigated the funda-mental mechanism of different sag con-trol agents using a combination of rheo-logy and light scattering. This work has led to a comprehensive model of coating flow from application to cure.

    He has made seminal contributions in the area of coating degradation and stabilization. Bauer was the first to mea-sure the rate of cross-link hydrolysis in acrylic melamine coatings, a process critical to acid etch resistance. He also made extensive studies of the interac-tion of light and water on the degrada-tion chemistries of these coatings.

    Bauer received a B.S. degree in chemistry from California Institute of Technology in 1971 and a Ph.D. degree in chemical physics from Stanford Uni-versity in 1975. After a postdoctoral ap-pointment in the chemistry department of the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, he joined the research lab ofFordinl977.^

    Henkelman, Randa win IBM Grad Student Awards

    Graeme A. Henkelman and Holly S. Randa, graduate students at the Univer-sity of Washington and the University of Utah, respectively, have been chosen as this year's recipients of the IBM Gradu-ate Student Awards in Computational Chemistry. The awards are sponsored by IBM and given by the ACS Division of Physical Chemistry. The awards con-sist of a cash prize and a grant of 1,000 node-hours of time on the IBM SP2 su-percomputer at the Minnesota Super-computing Institute.

    Henkelman has been a graduate stu-

    Henkelman Randa

    dent with Hannes Jonsson at the Univer-sity of Washington, Seattle, since 1997. His research involves the development of methods to understand chemical re-actions that occur on the surface of sol-id materials. Randa has been a graduate student with Gregory A. Voth at the Uni-versity of Utah since 1997. Her research involves the use of computer simula-tions to understand ion transport through cell membranes.^

    Nominations for 56th ACS Midwest Regional Award

    The ACS St. Louis Section is seeking nominations for the 56th ACS Midwest Regional Award. The award was estab-lished by the section in 1944 to publicly recognize outstanding achievements in chemistry in the Midwest region. The award is given annually to a scientist who has made meritorious contribu-tions to the advancement of pure or ap-plied chemistry, chemical education, and the profession of chemistry. To be eligible, a nominee's cited work must have been performed while he or she was residing within the Midwest region of ACS, which includes Missouri, Arkan-sas, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, southern Il-linois, and South Dakota; however, the nominee does not have to be a current or previous ACS member. Neither the nom-inee nor the nominator has to currently reside in any of these locations. Nomi-nees can be from industry, academia, government, or private practice.

    Nominations should include a nomi-nating letter, two or more seconding let-ters, a curriculum vitae, a brief biogra-phy, documented and objective informa-tion regarding the achievements of the nominee, and if the nominee is an aca-demician, a list of students who have re-ceived advanced degrees under his or her direction. Submit nine copies of all

    nomination material to Leah O'Brien, Chair, Midwest Award Committee, De-partment of Chemistry, Southern Illi-nois University, Edwardsville, IL 62026-1652. All nominations must be received on or before March 31 to be considered. Questions concerning the award may be addressed to O'Brien at (618) 650-3562 or

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