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The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry announces that Melanie Sanford, PhD, the Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Chemistry at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, will present the 2012 Paul G. Gassman Memorial Seminar on Thursday (March 1) at 1 p.m. in the Montante Cultural Center.  Her seminar is entitled “Tackling Global Challenges In Sustainable Chemistry Using Transition Metal Catalysis.”

Sanford is a leading researcher in the design of new synthetic strategies for transforming unreactive and inert carbon to hydrogen bonds into moieties that are readily amenable to chemical modification.  This work has profound implications for enabling a more efficient and environmentally friendly synthesis of chemicals including pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals and plastics.

Sanford has received numerous prestigious awards presented by both US and international chemistry professional societies (the American Chemical Society and the Royal Society of Chemistry); from major foundations (including the MacArthur and Beckman foundations) and from several pharmaceutical and chemical companies.  Additionally, Sanford has received awards in recognition of her teaching. She is a MacArthur Fellow (2011), a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2011), and an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Research Fellow (2006).  During the past few years, she has been presented the ACS Award in Pure Chemistry (2011), the ACS Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award (2008), the Royal Society of Chemistry Fluorine Prize (2011), a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (2006), the BASF Catalysis Award (2009), the Roche Excellence in Chemistry Award (2007), the DuPont Young Investigation Award (2007), the AstraZeneca Excellence in Chemistry Award (2006), the GlaxoSmithKline Chemistry Scholars Award (2006) and the Abbott Young Investigator Award (2006), among others.

Paul Gassman, PhD was a distinguished alumnus of Canisius College and a major benefactor who established an endowment for a lecture series.  He died prematurely in 1993 and this seminar series was established in his honor.  The Gassman Memorial Seminar series provides opportunities for science majors in the beginning of their college studies to meet with and hear a renowned chemist discuss their research, and the impact of their work on our environment and society.  Previous speakers have included: Jerrold Meinwald, PhD (Cornell University), Harry Gray, PhD (California Institute of Technology), Carolyn Bertozzi, PhD (University of California, Berkeley), and Geoffrey Coates (Cornell University).

For more information, contact Mary O’Sullivan, professor of chemistry at Ext. 2352.

Submitted by:  Mary O’Sullivan, PhD, professor, chemistry/biochemistry