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Of Note

George Koob Awarded France’s Highest Civil Honor

George Koob, founding chair of the Committee on the Neurobiology of Addictive Disorders at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI), has been awarded the insignia of Chevalier de la Légion d’honneur (Knight of the Legion of Honor), the government of France’s highest civil honor, in recognition of his contribution to the development of scientific collaborations between France and the United States.

Koob, currently on leave from TSRI to direct the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism at the National Institutes of Health, has a long collaborative relationship with French scientists, particularly Michel Le Moal, professor emeritus of neuroscience at the University of Bordeaux, France. The two co-authored two major reference books in addiction research, Neurobiology of Addiction and Drugs and Addiction and the Brain. Koob has also hosted and trained many young French scientists, including 13 postdoctoral fellows.

French Ambassador Gerard Araud presented Koob the award, established in 1802 by Napoleon Bonaparte, on behalf of French President Francois Hollande on June 30 in Washington, D.C.

More information about Koob’s research is available on his TSRI faculty webpage and the CNAD website.

TSRI’s George Koob (right) accepts France’s highest civil honor at a recent ceremony in Washington D.C., while TSRI colleagues Barbara Mason (center) and Olivier George look on. (Photo by Bill Branson.)

Yiyang See and Marcus Farmer Receive BMS Fellowships

Yiyang See and Marcus Farmer, fourth-year TSRI graduate students, have received 2016-2017 Bristol-Myers Squibb Graduate Fellowships in Synthetic Organic Chemistry.

See is a member of  the Baran lab. His research, titled “Scalable Copper mediated C-H oxidation and its application in the Synthesis of Polyhydroxylated Pregnanes,” seeks to further advance Cu-mediated C-H oxidation strategies, which have already produced the first lab preparation of several biologically relevant natural isolates, important to the development of promising synthetic drug compounds.

Farmer is a member of the Yu lab. His research, titled “Ligand Development for Palladium Catalyzed C-H Functionalization,” focuses on the design of compounds—ligands—that can modulate the properties of palladium catalysts and enable them to cleave and functionalize carbon-hydrogen bonds on organic molecules, leading to more efficient and faster synthesis and evaluation of drug candidates and ultimately, lower drug costs.

See and Farmer will present talks at the Bristol-Myers Squibb Awards Symposium in Lawrenceville, New Jersey, next spring.

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