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Professor Robert H. Grubbs

Dr. Robert H. Grubbs is the Victor and Elizabeth Atkins Professor of Chemistry at the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California, USA, where he has been a faculty member since 1978. Before moving to Caltech, he was at Michigan State University from 1969 to 1978 achieving the rank of Associate Professor.


The research group of Grubbs is involved in the design, synthesis, and mechanistic studies of complexes that catalyze basic organic transformations.  The major focus of the group over the past few years has been on the olefin metathesis reaction. To optimize the utility of this reaction, new catalysts have been developed that are extremely tolerant of organic functional groups. Due to their high-activity, functional group tolerance, and ease of use, these ruthenium based catalysts have found wide applications in organic and polymer synthesis. He has 400+ publications and 80+ patents.

Professor Grubbs awards have included Alfred P. Sloan Fellow (1974-76), Camille and Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award (1975-78), Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship (1975), ACS National Award in Organometallic Chemistry (1988), the Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award (1990), the ACS Award in Polymer Chemistry (1995), the Nagoya Medal of Organic Chemistry (1997), the Fluka Reagent of the Year (1998), the Mack Memorial Award (1999), the Benjamin Franklin Medal in Chemistry (2000), the ACS Herman F. Mark Polymer Chemistry Award (2000), the ACS Herbert C. Brown Award for Creative Research in Synthetic Methods (2001), the ACS Arthur C. Cope Award (2002), the ACS Award for Creative Research in Homogeneous or Heterogeneous Catalysis (2003), The Richard C. Tolman Medal (Southern California Section ACS - 2003), the ACS Tetrahedron Prize for Creativity in Organic Chemistry (2003), The Pauling Award Medal (2003), and the Bristol-Myers Squibb Distinguished Achievement Award in Organic Synthesis (2004). In 2005 he received the Kirkwood Medal (New Haven Section, ACS), the Paul Karrer Gold Medallion (University of Zurich), the August-wilhelm-von-Hofmann-Denkmunze (German Chemical Society), and the 2005 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in1989, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1994. 

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