University of South Carolina

Nobel Prize winner to speak on campus

By Steven Powell, spowell2@mailbox.sc.edu, 803-777-1923

Nobel laureate Robert Grubbs will speak at the University of South Carolina at 3:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2. A co-recipient of the 2005 Nobel Prize in Chemistry and professor at the California Institute of Technology, Grubbs will present the Murtiashaw Lecture in Chemistry in the Jones Physical Sciences Center, room 210 (Bouknight Auditorium).

The title of his talk is “Design and synthesis of selective catalysts for olefin metathesis.” Part of USC’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry’s seminar series, the lecture is free and open to the public.

The Grubbs research group is focused on the discovery of new catalysts, which facilitate the transformation of organic molecules. Catalysts are widely used in industry and academia in the preparation of organic compounds and polymers, which are essential constituents of nearly every modern convenience, from coffee makers to airplanes to smart phones.

The Grubbs laboratory developed a range of efficient and selective catalysts for olefin metathesis and was instrumental in elucidating the reaction’s mechanism. These catalysts are now used in a variety of commercial processes, including the synthesis of new pharmaceuticals, the preparation of composites for structural applications and the conversion of bio-renewable carbon sources into fuels and commodity chemicals. He shared the 2005 Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Richard Schrock and Yves Chauvin “for the development of the metathesis method in organic synthesis.”

Grubbs earned his doctorate from Columbia University in 1968, working with Ron Breslow, and did postdoctoral work with Jim Collman at Stanford University.

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Posted: 11/01/12 @ 9:15 AM | Updated: 11/01/12 @ 8:04 PM | Permalink