SCI's America International Group awarded the 2010 Perkin Medal to Ronald Breslow, S L Mitchill Professor of Chemistry and University Professor at Columbia University. The award was made at the Perkin Medal Dinner at Chemical Heritage Foundation (CHF) in Philadelphia on 23 September 2010.
'Ron Breslow combines brilliance in research with great effectiveness in telling the story of the achievements of chemistry to all who will listen,' said Sunil Kumar, President and CEO of International Specialty Products. 'He is the central architect of two major areas of research: biomimetic systems and nonbenzenoid aromatic chemistry. His work offers promise of important breakthroughs in the fight against cancer by modulating gene transcription in cancer cells.'
About Ronald Breslow
For more than 50 years, Ronald Breslow has been a member of the faculty of Columbia University, which he joined after undergraduate and graduate studies at Harvard. He has been active on many levels in the National Academy of Sciences (Chairman of the Chemistry Division 1974-77) and the American Chemical Society (ACS president, 1996, Priestley Medal, 1999). He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, of the European Academy of Science, and of the American Philosophical Society (member of the Council, 1987-92), as well as other scientific societies including the New York Academy of Sciences.
He is a Foreign Fellow of the Indian National Science Academy, an Honorary Member of the Korean Chemical Society, an Honorary Member of the Royal Society of Chemistry of Great Britain, a Foreign Member of the Royal Society of Britain, a Fellow of the World Innovation Foundation, and an Honorary Member of the Chemical Society of Japan. He also has an honorary professorship at the University of Science and Technology of China.
He has been the Chairman of the Board of Scientific Advisors of the Alfred P Sloan Foundation, and a member of the Board of Trustees of Rockefeller University. He is on the Editorial Board of a number of Scientific Journals, and has held over 150 named and visiting Professorships.
Breslow is the author of about 400 publications, including a widely acclaimed 1996 book, Chemistry Today and Tomorrow: The Central, Useful, and Creative Science. In addition to numerous honours and awards, he holds the National Medal of Science, the Othmer Gold Medal and has been named one of the top 75 contributors to the chemical enterprise in the past 75 years. He is an accomplished pianist whose public repertoire extends from popular songs to improvisational jazz.
About the Perkin Medal
The award is recognised as the highest honour given for outstanding work in applied chemistry in the United States. It commemorates the discovery of the first synthetic dye (the so-called Perkin mauve) by Sir William Henry Perkin in 1856. This discovery was a significant step forward in organic chemistry that led to the birth of a major segment of the chemical industry. The Perkin Medal was first awarded to Sir William at a banquet held by SCI in New York in 1906. Since then, more than 100 such awards have been given to notable scientists.