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K. Barry Sharpless to Receive Harvey Prize for Outstanding Contributions in Chemistry

La Jolla, CA. April 16, 1998 -- K. Barry Sharpless, Ph.D., W.M. Keck Professor of Chemistry in the Department of Chemistry and The Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI), will be honored for his scientific achievements by the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Israel's premier science and technology university.

He will receive the prestigious Harvey Prize for his outstanding contributions to chemistry at an awards ceremony in Israel on May 7, 1998. The prize consists of a cash award of $35,000 and the opportunity to lecture at the Technion. Three Harvey laureates have received the Nobel Prize since 1990: Claude Cohen-Tannoudjhi (Physics-1997), Pierre Giles de Gennes (Physics-1992), and Bert Sakmann (Medicine-1992). Mikhail Gorbachev received the prize in 1992.

The Harvey Prize, established in 1972 by the late Leo M. Harvey of Los Angeles, honors major contributions to human progress in science, technology, literature of the Middle East and the advancement of peace in the Middle East.

Sharpless is best known for using metal catalysts to create useful new methods for synthesizing organic molecules and asymmetric compounds in particular. The Sharpless Asymmetric Epoxidation, discovered in 1980, and the Sharpless Asymmetric Dihydroxylation, developed in 1988, have become essential tools in organic laboratories throughout the world. His work paved the way for cost-effective production of enantiomerically pure chemicals and chiral drugs, a development that already has had an enormous impact on the pharmaceutical and chemical industries.

Sharpless received his B.A. from Dartmouth College in 1963 and a Stanford University Ph.D. in 1968. In 1970, following postdoctoral studies at Stanford and Harvard Universities, he joined the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) faculty. After three years at Stanford in the late 1970s, he returned to MIT as Arthur C. Cope Professor of Chemistry. He joined the TSRI faculty in 1991.

Sharpless was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1985. Other significant honors include the Tetrahedron Prize, the American Chemical Society's Award for Creative Work in Organic Synthesis and their Arthur C. Cope Award; the Prelog Medal (Switzerland); the Janssen Prize (Belgium); the Scheele Medal (Sweden); the King Faisal International Prize for Science (Saudi Arabia); the Roger Adams Award in Organic Chemistry, American Chemical Society; and he was listed among the "Top 75 Contributors to the Chemical Enterprise," in the 75 years since the founding of Chemical & Engineering News.

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