-- Late University of Utah chemist Henry Eyring won the Medal of Science in 1966.
"The National Medal of Science represents a pinnacle of accomplishment for American scientists," said Lorris Betz, interim president of the University of Utah. "It reflects Professor Stang's high level of achievement during his entire career."
Stang was informed last week he would win the medal. John Holdren, the White House science adviser, told him the medal is "the highest honor bestowed by the United States government on scientists and engineers."
Stang has pioneered new methods in a field called "supramolecular chemistry" for the self-assembly of molecules large molecules that mimic nature and build themselves from a mixture of pre-designed chemical building blocks.
"It's like a Lego set with individual building units," Stang says. "You can make complicated structures and systems."
These molecules, created through what chemists call "rational design," have many uses, from new drug-delivery vehicles against cancer to substances with promise as modern catalysts to speed chemical reactions in petroleum refining.
The National Medal of Science is the latest in a long string of honors for Stang, who since 2002 has served as editor of the Journal of the American Chemical Society.
Earlier this year, he was ranked 69th on a list of the world's top 100 chemists, based on scientific impact scores of their published work. The list, compiled by Times Higher Education in Britain, put him in the top 1 percent of the top 1 percent of all chemists worldwide.
In 2003, the American Chemical Society honored Stang with its George A. Olah Award in Hydrocarbon or Petroleum Chemistry, for work defining the three-dimensional chemistry of carbocations, which are intermediate products in the petroleum refining process. Such understanding helps petroleum companies tailor-make products ranging from high-octane gasoline to
|Contact: Lee Siegel|
University of Utah