University of Delaware

"The University of Delaware is exceptionally proud of Prof. Richard F. Heck and his ground-breaking research in the field of chemistry, which has resulted in the award of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry."

— Patrick Harker,
     University of Delaware President

   Watch the Nobel video

Who should attend?

Scientists and engineers; graduate and undergraduate students; and media who cover science and technology.

Who will present?

Leading experts at the frontiers of catalysis. Prof. Heck's fellow Nobel Laureate, Ei-ichi Negishi, will be among our distinguished speakers.

Where will the event be held?

Clayton Hall, on UD's main campus in Newark, Del. Ample parking is available, and the Marriott Courtyard-University Hotel is conveniently located next door.

What is the registration deadline?

Registration is now closed -- we have reached our capacity. We look forward to seeing all registrants at the May 26th event!


Contact the symposium organizers here.


UD Provost Tom AppleTOM APPLE

Tom Apple is the provost of the University of Delaware and a professor of chemistry and biochemistry. As the chief academic officer at UD, he is responsible for the quality of the University's academic programs, research and scholarship. Prior to serving as provost, he was the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at UD. Apple came to Delaware from Rensselaer Polytechnic University, where he served as dean of graduate education, vice provost and interim vice provost for institute diversity. He also served as chair of the Department of Chemistry at Rensselaer and as professor of chemistry. At Rensselaer, Apple was only the third recipient of the Trustees Outstanding Teacher Award. Previously, Apple was a member of the faculty at the University of Nebraska, where he twice received the Parent's Association Award for Outstanding Teaching. Apple did his undergraduate work at the Pennsylvania State University and received his doctorate in physical chemistry from the University of Delaware. He did postdoctoral research at Iowa State University, working in the Ames Laboratory supported by the Department of Energy. Apple's research focuses on magnetic resonance spectroscopy applied to solid materials, catalysts and polymers. He has over 100 refereed papers and invited talks and has garnered 13 grants from the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health to support his research. Apple has served extensively on review panels for NSF, DOE and numerous academic institutions.


Stephen Buchwald, MIT


A native of Bloomington, Indiana, Buchwald received his bachelor's degree from Brown University and his doctorate from Harvard. His thesis work, with Prof. Jeremy R. Knowles, concerned the mechanism of phosphoryl transfer reactions in chemistry and biochemistry. He was a Myron A. Bantrell Postdoctoral Fellow at Caltech, where he worked with Prof. Robert H. Grubbs in the study of titanocene methylenes as reagents in organic synthesis and the mechanism of Ziegler-Natta polymerization. A member of the MIT faculty since 1984, Buchwald has won numerous honors, including the Harold Edgerton Faculty Achievement Award at MIT, the American Chemical Society's Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award and the ACS Award for Creative Work in Synthetic Organic Chemistry, the Bristol-Myers Squibb Distinguished Achievement Award, the CAS Science Spotlight Award and the Siegfried Medal Award in Chemical Methods which Impact Process Chemistry. He is a member of both the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences. In 2010, he received the Gustavus J. Esselen Award for Chemistry in the Public Interest. He is the coauthor of over 330 research papers and 41 patents.


Joseph Fox, Princeton University


A native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Fox received his bachelor’s degree from Princeton University, where he conducted undergraduate research as a Pfizer fellow with Maitland Jones Jr. He completed graduate studies under Thomas Katz at Columbia University, where he developed a combined interest in materials science and the synthesis of challenging targets. He studied organometallic chemistry with Stephen Buchwald at MIT as an NIH postdoctoral fellow, where he worked on Pd-catalyzed ketone arylation and devised a synthesis of phosphine ligands that is now used commercially. In 2001, Fox joined the faculty at UD, and he has built a multidisciplinary program that centers on the development of new types of chemical reactions. His group has developed new syntheses and transformations of chiral cyclopropenes and trans-cycloalkenes, and a new type of bioorthogonal reaction that allows for extremely rapid conjugation to biological macromolecules. Applications of this work include synthesis of naturally occurring and designed molecules with biological function, and in the use of design concepts in organic synthesis for applications in biology, radiochemistry, imaging, therapy and materials science. His honors include an NSF Career Award, the Thieme Journal Awar, and recognition as a 2005 Eli Lilly Lecturer at Northwestern University.


UD President Patrick HarkerPATRICK HARKER

Patrick T. Harker became the 26th president of the University of Delaware in July 2007. A professor of business administration and civil and environmental engineering, Harker unveiled in 2008 UD's Path to Prominence™, a sweeping strategic plan predicated on an intellectually stimulating undergraduate experience, excellence in research and graduate and professional education, environmental leadership, global engagement, and service to the community. Since then, UD has purchased the former Chrysler Newark site for a new science and technology campus; begun construction of an interdisciplinary science and engineering laboratory; and established new research centers to support these goals, including the Delaware Environmental Institute, UD Energy Institute, Institute for Global Studies, and Center for Political Communication. He established the Office of Economic Innovation and Partner-ships to stimulate invention and entrepreneurship and translate UD research into economy-driving technologies, and partnered with the region's leading health care providers in the Delaware Health Sciences Alliance to strengthen health care education, research and delivery, and establish Delaware as a health sciences hub. Formerly the dean of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and the Reliance Professor of Management and Private Enterprise, Harker has published or edited nine books and over 100 professional articles. In 1991, President George H. W. Bush named Harker a White House Fellow, one of 16 chosen nationwide. In this position, he served one year as a special assistant to the director of the FBI.


Prof. Ei-Ichi Negishi, Purdue UniversityEI-ICHI NEGISHI

Negishi, the inaugural Herbert C. Brown Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at Purdue University, received the 2010 Nobel Prize in Chemistry alongside UD's Richard Heck and Akira Suzuki of Hokkaido University. Negishi came to the United States in 1960 on a Fulbright-Smith-Mund All-Expense Scholarship after graduating from the University of Tokyo and working at Tejin, a chemical company. In 1962, while studying for his doctorate at the University of Pennsylvania under Prof. A. R. Day, he met Purdue chemistry professor Herbert C. Brown, a pioneer in synthetic organic chemistry. With Brown as a mentor, Negishi arrived in West Lafayette, Indiana, as a postdoctoral researcher in 1966. He joined the faculty of Syracuse University as an assistant professor in 1972, beginning his life-long investigations of transition metal-catalyzed organometallic reactions for organic synthesis. Negishi was offered an appointment at Purdue in 1979 — the same year Brown was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry — and in 1999, Negishi received a titled professorship in Brown's honor. Negishi is the recipient of numerous honors including the Guggenheim Fellowship, Chemical Society of Japan Award, American Chemical Society Organometallic Chemistry Award, Humboldt Senior Researcher Award, Royal Society of Chemistry Sir E. Frankland Prize Lectureship, and the Gold Medal of Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic. He has authored over 400 research papers, including two books, and several patents.


Todd D. Nelson, MerckTODD NELSON

Nelson is the director of pharmaceutical sciences at Merck, the second-largest pharmaceutical company in the world. Over the years, the company's researchers have helped to find new ways to treat and prevent illness, from discovering vitamin B1, the first measles vaccine, and the first statins to treat high cholesterol in humans, to numerous vaccines and antibiotics to improve animal health. Nelson received his bachelor's degree at Northwest Missouri State University. He earned a doctorate in organic chemistry from Johns Hopkins University under the direction of Prof. G. H. Posner, followed by postdoctoral research with Prof. A. Meyers at Colorado State University. Nelson joined the Medicinal Chemistry Department of Procter & Gamble Pharmaceuticals in 1990, where he worked on anti-infective discovery. He joined Merck in 1995 as a senior research chemist and was promoted to research fellow and then associate director of process research before attaining his current position. His responsibilities include managing the multidisciplinary Basic Pharmaceutical Sciences Department at Merck's Rahway site. The group is composed of preformulation, drug delivery and synthetic organic chemistry scientists working at the interface of discovery and development.


Melanie Sanford, Professor of Chemistry, Michigan StateMELANIE SANFORD

An associate professor of chemistry at the University of Michigan, Sanford received her bachelor's and master's degrees at Yale, where she conducted research with Prof. Robert Crabtree. She pursued doctoral studies at the California Institute of Technology working with Prof. Robert H. Grubbs, where she investigated ruthenium-catalyzed olefin metathesis reactions. Following postdoctoral work at Princeton with Prof. John Groves, she joined the UM faculty in 2003. Her group focuses on the development and mechanistic study of new transition metal catalyzed reactions for applications in organic synthesis, more specifically, the direct conversion of unactivated carbon-hydrogen bonds into new functional groups with high levels of chemo-, regio-, and stereoselectivity. Among her many honors, Sanford is an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Research Fellow and the recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the American Chemical Society's Arthur Cope Scholar Award, the BASF Catalysis Award, and young investigator awards from Abbott, Amgen, AstraZeneca, Boehringer Ingelheim, Bristol Myers Squibb, Eli Lilly, GlaxoSmithKline and Roche. In 2010, she received the National Fresenius Award from the National Chemistry Honor Society and ACS.


Prof. Victor Snieckus, Queen's UniversityVICTOR SNIECKUS

Snieckus is the Bader Chair in Organic Chemistry at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. His research focuses on the development of new synthetic methodology based on the Directed ortho Metalation (DoM) reaction and its links with modern transition metal catalyzed processes. His contributions range from the discovery of new carbanionic aromatic chemistry to new protocols for the synthesis of heterocycles, in particular, indoles and pyridines, and the construction of heteroaromatic natural products (e.g., alkaloids, antibiotics, antitumor agents). Snieckus received his bachelor's degree with honors from the University of Alberta and his doctorate from the University of Oregon. In 1998, he moved from the University of Waterloo to Queen's University. He is a fellow of the International Society of Heterocyclic Chemistry and the recipient of numerous honors including the Bernard Belleau Award of the Canadian Society for Chemistry, the Novartis Chemistry Lectureship, the American Chemical Society's Cope Scholar Award, and the International Arfvedson-Schlenk Award of the German chemists' association, among others. He is the volume editor of Science of Synthesisand on the editorial board of Synfacts and the advisory editorial board of Chemistry and Biodiversity.


Prof. Klaus Theopold, University of DelawareKLAUS THEOPOLD

Theopold is professor and chair of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Delaware. His research focuses on homogeneous catalysis, oxygen activation and oxidation catalysis. The coordination polymerization of small olefins and the oxygenation of hydrocarbons are examples of catalytic processes that have inspired his lab's mechanistic work with transition metals. Their approach involves the synthesis of "unusual" molecules (by virtue of their oxidation state, spin state, electronic configuration, molecular structure, reactivity, etc.), their full characterization with various spectroscopies and other suitable physical techniques (i.e., electrochemistry, magnetic susceptibility, X-ray crystallography), and finally the elucidation of their reactivity with organic or inorganic substrates. Based on the notion that open shell organometallics or "metallaradicals" should exhibit novel reaction patterns, he and his group are working on a variety of paramagnetic chromium alkyls, utilizing changes in oxidation state to tune the reactivity of these extremely electron-deficient compounds. Theopold discovered the shortest chemical bond ever recorded between two metals in 2007. The distance — between two atoms of chromium — is about one billionth the thickness of a human hair.

Prof. Dean Toste, UC BerkeleyDEAN TOSTE

A professor of chemistry at the University of California Berkeley, Toste leads a research group aimed primarily at the development of catalysts and catalytic reactions and methods for organic synthesis. Ultimately, they are interested in using these methods to address problems in the synthesis of complex molecules possessing interesting structural, biological and physical properties. His research program spans the areas of organic synthesis, catalysis and organometallic chemistry. They envision a new approach to catalysis utilizing transition metal-ligand pi-bonds to activate sigma-bonds towards addition reactions. They also are developing metal-dioxo complexes as catalysts for three-component cycloadditions in which the oxo ligand is one of the partners. A second area of research is the development of new catalysts and synthetic methods for the formation of carbon-carbon and carbon-heteroatom bonds. Of particular interest are addition reactions including additions to olefins and alkynes, alkene-alkene coupling and other atom transfer additions. Toste received his bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Toronto and his doctorate from Stanford. He was a postdoctoral fellow at Caltech. He has received numerous honors, including the Roche Award for Excellence in Chemistry; the Nobel Laureate Signature Award; the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Fellowship; the Camille and Henry Dreyfus New Faculty Award; Research Corporation-Research Innovation Award; Boehringer-Ingelheim New Faculty Award; Amgen New Faculty Award; GlaxoSmithKline Chemistry Scholar Award; Eli Lilly Grantee Award; Dupont Young Investigator Award; BMS Unrestricted Grant in Synthetic Organic Chemistry; and the National Science Foundation CAREER Award.


DOW Ashland
Additional Support Provided by DuPont, ACS Catalysis, and Center for Catalytic Science & Technology, Delaware Biotechnology Institute