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Richard Larock, Chemistry, (515) 294-4660
Mei Hong, Chemistry, (515) 294-3521
James Espenson, Chemistry, (515) 294-5730
Dave Gieseke, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, (515) 294-7742
Kevin Brown, News Service, (515) 294-8986


AMES, Iowa -- Three faculty members in Iowa State University's chemistry department have received 2004 American Chemical Society national awards. The awards were announced in the September issue of Chemical and Engineering News.

James Espenson, Distinguished Professorship in Liberal Arts and Sciences and professor of chemistry, has been awarded the society's Award for Distinguished Service in the Advancement of Inorganic Chemistry. The award, which is sponsored by Strem Chemicals Inc., recognizes individuals who advance inorganic chemistry through service and research.

Espenson, who will receive a $5,000 award, studies transition metal compounds. Many of the compounds being studied are catalysts; they cause chemical reactions to occur, but are themselves recovered unchanged at the end. Among his interests are the reactions and the step-by-step molecular mechanisms by which these multi-step processes occur.

Mei Hong, associate professor of chemistry, has received the society's Award in Pure Chemistry, sponsored by Alpha Chi Sigma fraternity and its educational foundation. This award recognizes and encourages fundamental research in pure chemistry carried out in North America by young men and women. Nominees must have been born after April 30, 1968, and must have accomplished research of unusual merit.

Hong will receive a $5,000 award. Her research interests are biophysical, bioanalytical and solid-state NMR (nuclear magnetic resonance -- studying the vibration of protons to radiation in a magnetic field).

Previous recipients include Frank Spedding, deceased Iowa State chemistry professor and a pioneer in the Manhattan Project, which led to the world's first controlled nuclear reaction. Spedding received the award in 1933.

Many recipients of this honor have gone on to have similar prominent careers in chemistry.

Richard Larock, University Professor of chemistry, has been awarded the Arthur C. Cope Senior Scholar Award sponsored by the Arthur C. Cope Fund. The fund recognizes and encourages excellence in organic chemistry. Larock is one of four Cope Senior Scholars. Cope Senior Scholars are named annually. Each recipient receives a $5,000 award and a $40,000 unrestricted research grant.

Larock also received the society's 2003 Edward Leete Award for outstanding contributions to teaching and research in organic chemistry. He received the award Sept. 9 at the society's fall meeting in New York City.

The 2004 award recipients will receive their awards during the society's upcoming meeting, March 28 to April 1, 2004, in Anaheim, Calif.


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