The ACS Division of Organic Chemistry has named Gary A. Molander – Hirschmann Makineni Professor and Chair, Department of Chemistry, University of Pennsylvania, PA – the winner of the 2016 Paul G. Gassman Distinguished Service Award. The award was established in 1994 to recognize outstanding service to the organic chemistry community. Presented every other year at the divisional executive committee dinner of the Fall ACS National Meeting, the award consists of $1,500 and a cut crystal plaque.
Professor Molander received his B.S. degree in chemistry from Iowa State University and his Ph.D. from Purdue University. After a postdoctoral stint at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, he began his independent career as an assistant professor at the University of Colorado, Boulder, rising through the ranks to professor before moving to the University of Pennsylvania.
Professor Molander has a long history of service to the organic community in elected and appointed positions, both at the local and national levels. He has served the Organic Division for over 15 years as member of the Executive Committee, including as Executive Officer of the 37th National Organic Symposium, Secretary-Treasurer, and Chair of the Division. One of the most important initiatives he established, in collaboration with Andrew Evans, is the Division’s Graduate Research Symposium. This symposium was started in order to reach young DOC members and is now in its 6th year. It is considered one of the Division’s most innovative programs, and was recognized by the ACS with a ChemLuminary Award. Locally, he served as Chair of the Philadelphia Section of the ACS and the Philadelphia Organic Chemists Club. He has been on many editorial advisory boards and is currently serving as an Associate Editor of Organic Letters, co-Editor-in-Chief of Comprehensive Organic Synthesis II, and the Editorial Advisory Board of Science of Synthesis.
Professor Molander’s research interests are in the development of new synthetic methods for organic synthesis, particularly in the invention of transition metal-catalyzed protocols for the construction of carbon-carbon bonds. Professor Molander is a Fellow of the American Chemical Society and has received numerous honors for his research and teaching, including an Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award, a Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science Fellowship, the Philadelphia Section Award, and The American Chemical Society Herbert C. Brown Award for Creative Research in Synthetic Methods.