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George Whitesides accepts inaugural Dreyfus Prize in the Chemical Sciences

NEW YORK, October 5 Dr. George M. Whitesides, the Woodford L. and Ann A. Flowers University Professor of Chemistry at Harvard University, accepted the inaugural Dreyfus Prize in the Chemical Sciences, on September 30, 2009, at an afternoon ceremony at Harvard University's Pfizer Lecture Hall in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology.

The prize, given biennially by the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation, recognizes exceptional and original research in a selected area of chemistry that has advanced the field in major ways. Conferred this first year in materials chemistry, the prize consists of a monetary award of $250,000one of the largest awards dedicated to the chemical sciences in the U.S.a citation and a medal.

"I'm particularly pleased and honored by this award from the Dreyfus Foundation. Its work in raising public awareness of chemistry is helping to educate young people about the transformative power of this science," said George Whitesides. "Chemistry has the opportunity of a century to do something profound for society. The whole area of materials chemistry, including challenges in energy, water, conservation, sustainability - commodity infrastructure - is up to us, as chemists, to work through."

After opening remarks by Michael Smith, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University, Henry C. Walter, President of the Dreyfus Foundation, reviewed the history of the Dreyfus brothers, chemists who founded the Celanese Corporation, and then presented the award. Marye Anne Fox, Chancellor of the University of California, San Diego, and Chair of the Dreyfus Scientific Affairs Committee, introduced Dr. Whitesides.

Whitesides has had a major and sustained impact in the chemical sciences and materials chemistry. One of the most innovative and prolific chemists of our time and the most highly cited living chemist in the world, he has developed powerful methods for the creation of new materials that have significantly advanced the field of chemistry and its societal benefits. His research extends across multiple disciplines, centered on chemistry, but touching biochemistry, drug design, and materials science. His work extends to the engineering of functional systems and the applications of these systems in areas ranging from biology to microelectronics.

George Whitesides has received many prestigious awards, including the National Medal of Science, the Priestley Medal, the Benjamin Franklin Medal in Chemistry and the Kyoto Prize for Advanced Technology. In addition to his academic research, Whitesides has helped found 12 companies in biotechnology and materials science and holds more than 50 patents.

Over the past decade, the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation has provided more than $50 million in support of the chemical sciences. The programs support young faculty of exciting potential or early accomplishment, develop leadership in environmental chemistry, and openly solicit for projects that advance the chemical sciences at all levels.


Contact: Mark Cardillo
The Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation, Inc.

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George Whitesides accepts inaugural Dreyfus Prize in the Chemical Sciences
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