22-Jul-2021 - Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker e.V. (GDCh)

GDCh honors Omar M. Yaghi, Herbert Waldmann and Peter H. Seeberger

Prestigious awards and top international research for the final of the WiFo 2021

On September 1, 2021, the last day of the Chemistry Science Forum (WiFo), the German Chemical Society (GDCh) will present three of its most prestigious awards. Professor Dr. Omar M. Yaghi, who also gives the final lecture, receives the August Wilhelm von Hofmann medal. Professor Dr. Dr. hc Herbert Waldmann is awarded the Liebig commemorative coin . The Emil Fischer Medal goes to Professor Dr. Peter H. Seeberger. The WiFo program also includes a plenary symposium that shows perspectives for a “green” future, a thematically subsequent panel discussion and further sessions on current research results in chemistry.

With the August Wilhelm von Hofmann Memorial Medal, the GDCh honors foreign researchers who have made a special contribution to chemistry. Professor Dr. Omar M. Yaghi, University of California, Berkeley, CA / USA, receives the awards for his outstanding work on metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) and covalent organic frameworks (COFs). In addition, Yaghi pioneered molecular “weaving” and synthesized the world's first atomic and molecular level woven material (COF-505). In addition to his academic achievements, the GDCh also recognizes Yaghi’s commitment to promoting young academics, especially in emerging and developing countries. In the final lecture of the WiFo at 4 p.m., Yaghi gives an insight into his fascinating research. Omar M. Yaghi received his PhD in chemistry from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA, and was an NSF Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard University, USA. He is Professor of Chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley, USA, and Senior Faculty Scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Yaghi is the founding director of the Berkeley Global Science Institute, which builds research centers in developing countries and supports young scientists. He is also co-director of the Kavli Energy NanoSciences Institute and the California Research Alliance by BASF. Yaghi is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) and has received numerous awards for his scientific achievements. He has published over 300 articles and is one of the most cited chemists in the world.

Professor Dr. Dr. hc Herbert Waldmann, Max Planck Institute for Molecular Physiology, Dortmund, receives the Liebig commemorative coin commemorative coin endowed with 7,500 euros for the development of new concepts for the production of natural substance-based substance libraries. In addition, the GDCh recognizes his new synthesis methods for the production of lipidated peptides and proteins for the study of cancer-relevant G proteins such as the Ras / RasG system. Herbert Waldmann completed his chemistry studies with a doctorate at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz in 1985. After two years at Harvard University, Cambridge, USA, he returned to Mainz, where he received his habilitation in 1991. After holding positions at the University of Bonn and the University of Karlsruhe, he has headed the chemical biology Department at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Physiology since 1999 and is also Professor of biochemistry at the Technical University of Dortmund. Since 2005 he has also headed the Chemical Genomics Center of the Max Planck Society. Waldmann is the author of over 500 scientific publications and has received numerous awards. In 2014 the University of Leiden, NL, awarded him an honorary doctorate. Waldmann is a member of various editorial boards of scientific journals and belongs to numerous advisory boards and boards of trustees.

Finally, the GDCh awards Professor Dr. Peter H. Seeberger, Max Planck Institute for Colloids and Interfaces, Potsdam, received the Emil Fischer Medal endowed with 7,500 euros for his groundbreaking contributions to the synthesis of complex carbohydrates and the chemical biology of carbohydrates, especially through the development of automated methods. In his work he was able to elucidate the basic mechanisms of the interaction of glycans with other biomolecules. With his syntheses, Seeberger established the field of “Molecular Glycobiology”, from which new types of vaccines, new cholesterol-lowering agents, diagnostics and impulses for materials science emerge. He has thus decisively influenced the development of carbohydrate-based vaccines and materials. Peter H. Seeberger studied at the university Erlangen-Nürnberg Chemistry and a PhD in biochemistry from the University of Colorado Boulder, USA, in 1995. After stays at the Sloan Kettering Institute for Cancer Research in New York and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), he was Professor of organic chemistry from 2003 from ETH Zurich and Affiliate Professor at the Burnham Institute in La Jolla, California. Since 2009, he has headed the “Biomolecular Systems” department at the Max Planck Institute for Colloids and Interfaces in Potsdam at the University of Potsdam. Seeberger is the author of over 59 0 publications and received numerous awards.

Another highlight of the day is the plenary symposium “Perspectives for a Green Future”. Professor Dr. Jean-Paul Lange, University of Twente, Enschede / NL, Dr. Alice Glättli, BASF, Ludwigshafen, and Professor Dr. Michael Kühn, German Research Center for Geosciences and the University of Potsdam, talk about new developments in relation to low-carbon fuels and chemicals from biomass, the contribution of the resource potential of the geological subsurface to the energy transition and the role of the chemical industry on the way to a sustainable future. In addition to the academic and industrial perspective, they also address the area of tension in between. In a subsequent panel discussion on the same topic, the speakers, together with other experts and the plenum, will discuss possible approaches on how the future can be made “greener” with the help of chemistry.

Numerous other WiFos sessions deal with current research results from various chemical fields. A session on NFDI4Chem deals with research data management in chemistry. In addition, the GDCh Award for Biocatalysis and the Price for bioconversion of renewable raw materials be awarded for the first time.

The GDCh-Wissenschaftsforum Chemie (WiFo) – in a nutshell

The GDCh Science Forum Chemistry 2021 will take place online from August 29th to September 1st under the motto “Chemists create solutions”. A varied program of plenary lectures, main symposia, a poster and an industrial exhibition awaits the participants. In addition, numerous prestigious prizes are awarded. Registration is possible at www.wifo2021.de.

Facts, background information, dossiers

  • August Wilhelm von…
  • Liebig commemorative coin
  • Emil Fischer Medal

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