Donald James Cram
|Born||April 22, 1919|
|Died||June 17, 2001 (aged 82)|
|Alma mater|| Rollins College |
University of Nebraska
|Known for|| Cram's rule |
|Awards|| Nobel Prize in Chemistry (1987)|
Glenn T. Seaborg Medal (1989)
National Medal of Science (1993)
Guggenheim fellowship (1955)
|Institutions||UCLA, Merck & Co, MIT|
|Doctoral advisor||Louis Fieser|
Donald James Cram (April 22, 1919 – June 17, 2001) was an American chemist who shared the 1987 Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Jean-Marie Lehn and Charles J. Pedersen "for their development and use of molecules with structure-specific interactions of high selectivity." They were the founders of the field of host–guest chemistry.
Chemistry is the scientific discipline involved with elements and compounds composed of atoms, molecules and ions: their composition, structure, properties, behavior and the changes they undergo during a reaction with other substances.
The Nobel Prize is a set of annual international awards bestowed in several categories by Swedish and Norwegian institutions in recognition of academic, cultural, or scientific advances.
Jean-Marie Lehn is a French chemist. He received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry together with Donald Cram and Charles Pedersen in 1987 for his synthesis of cryptands. Lehn was an early innovator in the field of supramolecular chemistry, i.e., the chemistry of host–guest molecular assemblies created by intermolecular interactions, and continues to innovate in this field. As of January 2006, his group has published 790 peer-reviewed articles in chemistry literature.
Cram was bornand raised in Chester, Vermont, to a Scottish immigrant father, and a German immigrant mother. His father died before Cram turned four, leaving him the only male in a family of five. He grew up on Aid to Dependent Children, and learned to work at an early age, doing jobs such as picking fruit, tossing newspapers, and painting houses, while bartering for piano lessons. By the time he turned eighteen, he had worked at least eighteen different jobs.
Chester is a town in Windsor County, Vermont, United States. The population was 3,154 at the 2010 census.
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Sharing a border with England to the southeast, Scotland is otherwise surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, by the North Sea to the northeast and by the Irish Sea to the south. In addition to the mainland, situated on the northern third of the island of Great Britain, Scotland has over 790 islands, including the Northern Isles and the Hebrides.
Germans are a Germanic ethnic group native to Central Europe, who share a common German ancestry, culture and history. German is the shared mother tongue of a substantial majority of ethnic Germans.
Cram attended the Winwood High School in Long Island, N.Y.From 1938 to 1941, he attended Rollins College, in Winter Park, Florida on a national honorary scholarship, where he worked as an assistant in the chemistry department, and was active in theater, chapel choir, Lambda Chi Alpha, Phi Society, and Zeta Alpha Epsilon. It was at Rollins that he became known for building his own chemistry equipment. In 1941, he graduated from Rollins College with a B.S. in Chemistry.
Rollins College is a private, coeducational liberal arts college, founded in 1885 and located in Winter Park, Florida along the shores of Lake Virginia. Rollins is a member of the SACS, NASM, ACS, FDE, AAM, AACSB International, Council for Accreditation of Counseling, and Related Educational Programs. Rollins has about 30 undergraduate majors and several graduate programs. In 2017 it was ranked #2 Regional Universities, South by U.S. News & World Report. Rollins College has ranked among the most beautiful U.S. college campuses by The Princeton Review for the past decade, ranking #1 in 2015 and #10 most recently in 2017.
Lambda Chi Alpha (ΛΧΑ), commonly known as Lambda Chi, is a college Fraternity in North America, which was founded in 1909. It is one of the largest social fraternities in North America, with more than 280,000 lifetime members and active chapters and colonies at 195 universities. The youngest of the fifteen largest social fraternities, Lambda Chi Alpha has initiated the third highest number of men ever, based on NIC statistics. Lambda Chi's International Headquarters is located in Indianapolis, Indiana. Its members are referred to as "Lambda Chis", "LCAs", "Lambdas", and "Choppers". It was a member of the North-American Interfraternity Conference (NIC) until October 2015.
In 1942, he graduated from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln with a M.S. in organic chemistry,with Norman O. Cromwell serving as his thesis adviser. His subject was "Amino ketones, mechanism studies of the reactions of heterocyclic secondary amines with -bromo-, -unsaturated ketones."
The University of Nebraska–Lincoln, often referred to as Nebraska, UNL or NU, is a public research university in the city of Lincoln, in the state of Nebraska in the Midwestern United States. It is the state's oldest university, and the largest in the University of Nebraska system.
In 1947, Cram graduated from Harvard University with a Ph.D. in organic chemistry,with Louis Fieser, serving as the adviser on his dissertation on "Syntheses and reactions of 2-(ketoalkyl)-3-hydroxy-1,4-naphthoquinones"
Harvard University is a private Ivy League research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with about 6,700 undergraduate students and about 15,250 post graduate students. Established in 1636 and named for its first benefactor, clergyman John Harvard, Harvard is the United States' oldest institution of higher learning, and its history, influence, and wealth have made it one of the world's most prestigious universities.
Organic chemistry is the chemistry subdiscipline for the scientific study of structure, properties, and reactions of organic compounds and organic materials. Study of structure determines their chemical composition and formula. Study of properties includes physical and chemical properties, and evaluation of chemical reactivity to understand their behavior. The study of organic reactions includes the chemical synthesis of natural products, drugs, and polymers, and study of individual organic molecules in the laboratory and via theoretical study.
Louis Frederick Fieser was an American organic chemist, professor, and in 1968, professor emeritus at Harvard University. He is renowned as the inventor of military effective napalm whilst he worked at Harvard in 1943. His award-winning research included work on blood-clotting agents including the first synthesis of vitamin K, synthesis and screening of quinones as antimalarial drugs, work with steroids leading to the synthesis of cortisone, and study of the nature of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.
From 1942-1945, Cram worked in chemical research at Merck & Co laboratories, doing penicillin research with mentor Max Tishler.Postdoctoral work was as an American Chemical Society postdoctoral fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, with John D. Roberts. Cram was the originator of Cram's rule, which provides a model for predicting the outcome of nucleophilic attack of carbonyl compounds. He published over 350 research papers and eight books on organic chemistry, and taught graduate and post-doctoral students from 21 different countries.
Max Tishler (October 30, 1906 – March 18, 1989) was president of Merck Sharp and Dohme Research Laboratories where he led the research teams that synthesized ascorbic acid, riboflavin, cortisone, pyridoxine, pantothenic acid, nicotinamide, methionine, threonine, and tryptophan. He also developed the fermentation processes for actinomycin, vitamin B12, streptomycin, and penicillin. Tishler invented sulfaquinoxaline for the treatment for coccidiosis.
The American Chemical Society (ACS) is a scientific society based in the United States that supports scientific inquiry in the field of chemistry. Founded in 1876 at New York University, the ACS currently has nearly 157,000 members at all degree levels and in all fields of chemistry, chemical engineering, and related fields. It is the world's largest scientific society by membership. The ACS is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and holds a congressional charter under Title 36 of the United States Code. Its headquarters are located in Washington, D.C., and it has a large concentration of staff in Columbus, Ohio.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is a private research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Founded in 1861 in response to the increasing industrialization of the United States, MIT adopted a European polytechnic university model and stressed laboratory instruction in applied science and engineering. The institute is a land-grant, sea-grant and space-grant university with campus extends more than a mile along side the Charles river. The institute is traditionally known for its research and education in the physical sciences, engineering and architecture, but more recently in biology, economics, linguistics, management, and social science and art as well. MIT is often ranked among the world's top five universities.
Cram expanded upon Charles Pedersen's ground-breaking synthesis of crown ethers, two-dimensional organic compounds that are able to recognize and selectively combine with the ions of certain metal elements. He synthesized molecules that took this chemistry into three dimensions, creating an array of differently shaped molecules that could interact selectively with other chemicals because of their complementary three-dimensional structures. Cram's work represented a large step toward the synthesis of functional laboratory-made mimics of enzymes and other natural molecules whose special chemical behavior is due to their characteristic structure. He also did work in stereochemistry and Cram's rule of asymmetric induction is named after him.
Cram was named an assistant professor at the University of California, Los Angeles in 1947, and a professor in 1955. He served there until his retirement in 1987. He was a popular teacher, having instructed some 8,000 undergraduates in his career and guided the academic output of 200 graduate students. He entertained his classes by strumming his guitar and singing folk songs.He showed a self-deprecating style, saying at one time:
An investigator starts research in a new field with faith, a foggy idea, and a few wild experiments. Eventually the interplay of negative and positive results guides the work. By the time the research is completed, he or she knows how it should have been started and conducted.
Cram once admitted that his career wasn't without sacrifice. His first wife was Rollins classmate, Jean Turner, who also graduated in 1941, and went on to receive a master's degree in social work from Columbia University. His second wife, Jane, is a former chemistry professor at Mt. Holyoke College. Cram chose not to have any children, "because I would either be a bad father or a bad scientist."
Cram died of cancer in 2001, at the age of 82.
Dudley Robert Herschbach is an American chemist at Harvard University. He won the 1986 Nobel Prize in Chemistry jointly with Yuan T. Lee and John C. Polanyi "for their contributions concerning the dynamics of chemical elementary processes." Herschbach and Lee specifically worked with molecular beams, performing crossed molecular beam experiments that enabled a detailed molecular-level understanding of many elementary reaction processes. Herschbach is a member of the Board of Sponsors of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.
Robert Burns Woodward was an American organic chemist. He is considered by many to be the preeminent organic chemist of the twentieth century, having made many key contributions to the subject, especially in the synthesis of complex natural products and the determination of their molecular structure. He also worked closely with Roald Hoffmann on theoretical studies of chemical reactions. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1965.
Paul Delos Boyer was an American biochemist, analytical chemist, and a professor of chemistry at University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). He shared the 1997 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for research on the "enzymatic mechanism underlying the biosynthesis of adenosine triphosphate (ATP)" with John E. Walker, making Boyer the first Utah-born Nobel laureate; the remainder of the Prize in that year was awarded to Danish chemist Jens Christian Skou for his discovery of the Na+/K+-ATPase.
George Andrew Olah was a Hungarian and American chemist. His research involved the generation and reactivity of carbocations via superacids. For this research, Olah was awarded a Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1994 "for his contribution to carbocation chemistry." He was also awarded the Priestley Medal, the highest honor granted by the American Chemical Society and F.A. Cotton Medal for Excellence in Chemical Research of the American Chemical Society in 1996. According to György Marx he was one of The Martians.
Henry Taube, Ph.D, M.Sc, B.Sc., FRSC was a Canadian-born American chemist noted for having been awarded the 1983 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for "his work in the mechanisms of electron-transfer reactions, especially in metal complexes." He was the second Canadian-born chemist to win the Nobel Prize, and remains the only Saskatchewanian-born Nobel laureate. Taube completed his undergraduate and Masters degrees at the University of Saskatchewan, and his Ph.D from the University of California, Berkeley. After finishing graduate school, Taube worked at Cornell University, the University of Chicago and Stanford University.
Charles John Pedersen was an American organic chemist best known for describing methods of synthesizing crown ethers. He shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1987 with Donald J. Cram and Jean-Marie Lehn. He is the only Nobel Prize laureate born in Korea other than Peace Prize laureate Kim Dae-jung.
Sir James Fraser Stoddart is a Scottish chemist who is Board of Trustees Professor of Chemistry and head of the Stoddart Mechanostereochemistry Group in the Department of Chemistry at Northwestern University in the United States. He works in the area of supramolecular chemistry and nanotechnology. Stoddart has developed highly efficient syntheses of mechanically-interlocked molecular architectures such as molecular Borromean rings, catenanes and rotaxanes utilizing molecular recognition and molecular self-assembly processes. He has demonstrated that these topologies can be employed as molecular switches. His group has even applied these structures in the fabrication of nanoelectronic devices and nanoelectromechanical systems (NEMS). His efforts have been recognized by numerous awards including the 2007 King Faisal International Prize in Science. He shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry together with Ben Feringa and Jean-Pierre Sauvage in 2016 for the design and synthesis of molecular machines.
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Yves Chauvin was a French chemist and Nobel Prize laureate. He was honorary research director at the Institut français du pétrole and a member of the French Academy of Science. He was known for his work for deciphering the process of metathesis for which he was awarded the 2005 Nobel Prize in Chemistry along with Robert H. Grubbs and Richard R. Schrock.
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The Willard Gibbs Award, presented by the Chicago Section of the American Chemical Society, was established in 1910 by William A. Converse (1862–1940), a former Chairman and Secretary of the Chicago Section of the society and named for Professor Josiah Willard Gibbs (1839–1903) of Yale University. Gibbs, whose formulation of the Phase Rule founded a new science, is considered by many to be the only American-born scientist whose discoveries are as fundamental in nature as those of Newton and Galileo.
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Brian M. Stoltz is currently a professor of chemistry at the California Institute of Technology. The primary focus of his research is chemical synthesis with an emphasis on the development of new strategies for the preparation of complex molecules possessing unique structural, biological, and physical properties. His research involves the total synthesis of natural products such as dragmacidin F and (–)-cyanthiwigin F, and development of synthetic reactions to access quaternary stereocenters. Specifically, he has focused on the allylic alkylation of enolates, developing an enantioselective variant in 2004.
Phil S. Baran is a Professor in the Department of Chemistry at the Scripps Research Institute and Member of the Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology. He received his B.S. in chemistry from New York University in 1997 and his Ph.D. from The Scripps Research Institute in 2001, under the supervision of K.C. Nicolaou. He did his postdoctoral fellowship in the laboratory of Nobel Laureate E. J. Corey at Harvard University.
Jayaraman Chandrasekhar is an Indian computational chemist and a former professor at the department of organic chemistry of the Indian Institute of Science. He is known for his studies on the structure and bonding of organic molecules and is an elected fellow of Indian National Science Academy, and the Indian Academy of Sciences The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, the apex agency of the Government of India for scientific research, awarded him the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize for Science and Technology, one of the highest Indian science awards, in 1995, for his contributions to chemical sciences.
Paul Gassman (1935-1993) was an American chemist. He is best known for his research in the field of organic chemistry and his service as president of the American Chemical Society and is listed among notable alumni by the Cornell University Graduate School.
Jeffrey I. Zink is an American molecular biologist and chemist currently a Distinguished Professor at University of California, Los Angeles whose interests are in materials, nanoscience, physical and inorganic. His current research is examining molecules containing metal and nanomaterials. He worked with Fraser Stoddart to help develop machines that could be applied to deliver drugs. According to Google Scholar, his highest citations are 1,648, 1,602, 1,592, 1,198, and 937.