The Mosher Award for 2014

    The Mosher Award is the Santa Clara Valley Section's most prestigious award. It is given annually to an ACS member chosen from the national community who has demonstrated excellence in chemistry, worked to insure advancement of the chemical profession and has participated fully in the ACS on a national, regional and local level.

    The award was established in 1980 in honor of Harry and Carol Mosher, two founding members of the Santa Clara Valley Section, both of whom epitomize these values. The Mosher award recipient is presented with an engraved plaque and an honorarium at a dinner meeting of the Section, usually in the January meeting of the following year.
Click here for details about the award itself.

    The 2013 recipient  of the Mosher Award was  Dr. Peter Wipf of the University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.   Dr. Wipf is well qualified and meets all the criteria for the award. It was presented to him on January  16, 2014. About 45 people from the local section attended and his lecture was greatly enjoyed by all.


    Dr. Peter Wipf was born in Aarau, Switzerland. He received his Dipl. Chem. in 1984 and his Ph.D. in 1987 from the University of Zürich under the direction of Professor Heinz Heimgartner.  After a Swiss NSF postdoctoral  fellowship with Professor Robert E. Ireland at the University of Virginia, Dr. Wipf began his appointment at the University of Pittsburgh in the fall of 1990. Since 2004, he has been a Distinguished University Professor of Chemistry and a Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences. He also serves as the Director of the Center for Chemical Methodologies and Library Development (UPCMLD). He is a co-Leader of the UPCI Molecular Therapeutics and Drug Discovery Program.  Peter Wipf’s research includes the total synthesis of natural products, organometallic chemistry, hetero -cyclic chemistry, diversity-oriented synthesis, medicinal chemistry and computational chemistry. At the center of his research program is the study of chemical reactivity and the use of synthesis to augment the chemical toolbox and develop new therapeutic strategies.  A major emphasis involves the efficient preparation of polyfunctionalized nitrogen-containing building blocks for biological screening and synthesis of natural products and analogs. The discovery of fundamentally new reaction pathways is stimulated by exploratory studies of transition metal complexes, in particular zirconocenes, and strained rings. One of his compounds, a PI3 kinase inhibitor, is currently in Phase II clinical trials in the US and Canada.

    Among recent awards, Dr. Wipf is a recipient of the Morley Medal (2013), the Ernest Guenther Award in the Chemistry of Natural Products (2009), the ISHC Katritzky Award in Heterocyclic Chemistry (2003),  and a Fellow of the American Chemical Society (2010), the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC, 2004), and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS, 2002). He received the ACS Pittsburgh Award in 2012 and the Chancellor’s Senior Scholar Distinguished Research Award in 2008. He has been an Associate Editor of ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters since 2009. In 1998, he received the Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award.

The Award Lecture
From Strained Carbocycles to Heterocycles

    Cyclopropanes and cyclobutanes are commonly used as scaffolds for conformational preorganization in pharmaceutical compounds and for the expansion of molecular diversity in chemical libraries. A few natural products also contain these building blocks, and a considerable number of organic methodolo-gies has focused on their preparation and synthetic transformation. In contrast, applications of cyclo[1.1.0]butanes in organic synthesis have been much more limited.  Similarly, there are only a few applications of methylene cyclopropanes.  Our group has been able to expand bicyclobutane and methylene cyclopropane chemistry toward the preparation of diverse ring fused pyrrolidines, many of which represent completely novel scaffolds.  We are also applying this methodology toward the total synthesis of polycyclic alkaloids.
Photo of Wipf, Mosher and
Peter Wipf, Carol Mosher and
2014 Section Chair Ean Warren

--Howard Peters, Mosher Award Committee Chair
  Lois Durham and Natalie McClure, Committee Members

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