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Phil Baran Awarded Emanuel Merck Lectureship 2017

Merck today announced that Phil S. Baran, Professor of Chemistry at the Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) in La Jolla, California (USA), has been named the fourteenth recipient of the Emanuel Merck Lectureship.

03 MAY 2017 | Darmstadt, Germany
  • Merck and TU Darmstadt jointly present award for the 14th time
  • Baran recognized for his pioneering work in the field of organictotal synthesis

Merck, a leading science and technology company, today announced that Phil S. Baran, Professor of Chemistry at the Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) in La Jolla, California (USA), has been named the fourteenth recipient of the Emanuel Merck Lectureship.

Baran is being recognized for his pioneering work in the field of organic total synthesis, through which he has produced hundreds of important, highly complex natural compounds in the laboratory such as indoles and terpenes. Elegant syntheses brought about by simple starting materials along with new reactions and highly efficient methods are his hallmark. This approach results in natural substances produced on gram scale that can be utilized commercially in active pharmaceutical ingredient research.

“With his excellent work to discover new ways of synthesizing large, complex molecules, which are also relevant for pharmaceutical research, Phil has taken modern organic chemistry into a new dimension,” said Klaus Urbahns, Senior Vice President Global Discovery Technologies within the Biopharma business of Merck. "Baran is a superstar among organic chemists and we are pleased to award him the Emanuel Merck Lectureship for his contributions to science.”

Describing the value and intention of this award, Professor Klaus Griesar, Head of Science Relations at Merck said, “This science prize not only serves to promote scientific exchange with internationally recognized researchers, many of whom are Nobel laureates or have received similar recognition. It also contributes significantly to the attractiveness of Darmstadt as the city of science and underscores the importance of science to our society.”

The prize, worth € 30,000, will be presented to Baran on May 8, 2017 during a public lecture at the Lichtwiese campus of the TU Darmstadt. Starting at 5 p.m., the prizewinner will be holding a lecture on “Why Synthesis Matters" in the Kekulé auditorium of the Chemistry Department.

Emanuel Merck Lectureship

The Emanuel Merck Lectureship is an award presented to internationally renowned top researchers in partnership with the Technical University of Darmstadt (TU Darmstadt) since 1993 and is one of Merck's many initiatives that illustrate its close ties to science. The award seeks to recognize globally renowned scientists who have made significant contributions to chemical and pharmaceutical research, thereby offering academic professionals, institutes and companies detailed insights into the forefront of scientific research in the industry. The Chemistry Department of the TU Darmstadt and Merck jointly select the candidates and winners.

Winners of Emanuel Merck Lectureship from 1993 – 2015

  • 2015 – Paul T. Anastas, Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA
  • 2013 – Frances Arnold, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, USA
  • 2011 – Carolyn Bertozzi, University of California, Berkley, CA, USA
  • 2009 – Axel Ullrich, Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, Martinsried, near Munich, Germany
  • 2007 – Sir Harold W. Kroto, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL, USA
  • 2005 – George M. Whitesides, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA
  • 2003 – Samuel J. Danishefsky, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA
  • 2000 – Stuart L. Schreiber, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA
  • 1998 – Jean-Pierre Changeux, Institut Pasteur, Paris, France
  • 1996 – Manfred Eigen, Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Göttingen, Germany
  • 1995 – Jean-Marie Lehn, Collège de France, Paris/University of Strasbourg, France
  • 1994 – Kenneth Wade, University of Durham, United Kingdom
  • 1993 – Albert Eschenmoser, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, Switzerland1996 – Manfred Eigen, Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Göttingen, Germany
  • 1995 – Jean-Marie Lehn, Collège de France, Paris/University of Strasbourg, France
  • 1994 – Kenneth Wade, University of Durham, United Kingdom
  • 1993 – Albert Eschenmoser, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, Switzerland

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About Merck

Merck is a leading science and technology company in healthcare, life science and performance materials. Around 50,000 employees work to further develop technologies that improve and enhance life – from biopharmaceutical therapies to treat cancer or multiple sclerosis, cutting-edge systems for scientific research and production, to liquid crystals for smartphones and LCD televisions. In 2016, Merck generated sales of € 15.0 billion in 66 countries.
Founded in 1668, Merck is the world's oldest pharmaceutical and chemical company. The founding family remains the majority owner of the publicly listed corporate group. Merck, Darmstadt, Germany holds the global rights to the Merck name and brand. The only exceptions are the United States and Canada, where the company operates as EMD Serono, MilliporeSigma and EMD Performance Materials.

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