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Scientist at The Scripps Research Institute Wins International Aspirin Prize for Solidarity Through Chemistry

La Jolla, CA. June 28, 1999 -- K.C. Nicolaou, Ph.D., Chairman, Department of Chemistry and Professor, The Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology, and Professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of California, San Diego, has been awarded the first International Aspirin Prize for Solidarity Through Chemistry by Quimica Farmaceutica Bayer, S.A. (Barcelona). The worldwide, biennial prize has been established to mark the centenary of the synthesis of a pure and stable form of acetylsalicylic acid, the active ingredient of aspirin in 1897 and the registration of Aspirin as a trademark in 1899 by Bayer.

Nicolaou was presented the award earlier this month at the Chemical Institute of Sarria, Ramon Llull University, Barcelona, Spain, for his work on the total synthesis and chemical biology of natural products. He is perhaps most widely recognized for his work on taxol, and also has performed the total syntheses of the medically important natural products amphotericin B, calicheamicin, rapamycin, brevetoxins A and B, and vancomycin. His recent contributions to combinatorial chemistry and chemical biology further broaden the impact of his work on biology and medicine.

Nicolaou received a bachelor's degree and a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of London. He completed postdoctoral appointments at Columbia University and Harvard University. In 1976 he joined the faculty of the Department of Chemistry at University of Pennsylvania and was named the Rhodes-Thompson Professor of Chemistry in 1988. He was appointed Darlene Shiley Professor of Chemistry and Chairman, Department of Chemistry, at The Scripps Research Institute in 1989.

A member of the National Academy of Sciences and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he is the recipient of many national and international awards, including the American Chemical Society Award for Creative Work in Synthetic Organic Chemistry, the Janssen Prize for Creativity in Organic Synthesis, the Rhone-Poulenc Silver Medal from the Royal Society of Chemistry, the Ernest Guenther Award in the Chemistry of Natural Products, the Chemical Pioneer Award from the American Institute of Chemists, the American Chemical Society New York Section's Nichols Medal, the Linus Pauling Medal of the American Chemical Society, the 1997 Distinguished Scientist Award from the San Diego Section, American Chemical Society, and the Gustavus John Esselen Award for Chemistry in the Public Interest by the Northeastern Section, American Chemical Society. The author of more than 450 scientific publications and 65 patents, Nicolaou also has been recognized by several honorary doctoral degrees.


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