Penn Chemist Wins Nichols Medal for Outstanding Achievement in Research

September 15, 2013

In recognition of his outstanding achievement in chemical research, Amos B. Smith III of Penn Arts and Sciences has been named the recipient of the 2014 William H. Nichols Medal by the New York Section of the American Chemical Society (ACS). To date, 16 recipients of the Nichols Medal have also received the Nobel Prize.

Smith is the William Warren Rhodes–Robert J. Thompson Professor of Chemistry at Penn. His research focuses on three principal areas: development of innovative synthetic methods with wide application, demonstration of the utility of these synthetic tactics for the rapid construction of complex natural and unnatural products having significant bio-regulatory properties, and novel bio-organic/medicinal chemistry programs. In each area, Smith and his collaborators exploit the power of organic synthesis to improve human health. Completed and ongoing collaborations have contributed to the development of small-molecule probes for neurodegenerative diseases, bioavailable HIV-1 protease inhibitors, and small molecule inhibitors of the HIV cell entry process.

To date, more than 90 architecturally complex natural products have been prepared in the Smith laboratory. Smith was founding editor-in-chief of the ACS journal Organic Letters and has been on the editorial boards of many others. The recipient of dozens of awards, he has co-authored over 600 publications and delivered more than 600 invited lectures.

The world’s largest scientific society, ACS represents professionals at all degree levels and in all fields of chemistry and sciences that involve chemistry. The New York Section is one of the largest in the ACS.

The William H. Nichols Medal was created in 1902 by the New York Section to encourage original research by recognizing an outstanding contribution in the field of chemistry. Smith will receive his award at a research symposium next spring.