News Release

Chris Vanderwal to receive Springer Heterocyclic Chemistry Award 2020

Prize for outstanding research in heterocyclic chemistry goes to young professor from the University of California, Irvine

Grant and Award Announcement


Topics in Heterocyclic Chemistry

image: The series Topics in Heterocyclic Chemistry presents critical reviews on present and future trends in the research of heterocyclic compounds. view more 

Credit: Springer Nature

The fourth Springer Heterocyclic Chemistry Award will be presented to Chris Vanderwal, Professor of Chemistry and of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of California, Irvine. Vanderwal has contributed significantly to the advancement of multiple areas of heterocyclic chemistry; in particular with the introduction of short chemical synthesis strategies in numerous natural product total synthesis routes. The award will be presented at the European Colloquium on Heterocyclic Chemistry in Rouen, France, from 25 to 28 August 2020.

Chris Vanderwal's research mainly focuses on the chemical synthesis of complex, bioactive natural products, including alkaloids, terpenoids, and polyhalogenated compounds. His group is currently working on compounds with antibacterial, antiviral, antimalarial, anticancer, and immunosuppressive activities, with the ultimate goal of using the tools of chemical synthesis to better understand their mechanisms of action.

After receiving his Ph.D. at The Scripps Research Institute in 2003, Chris Vanderwal went on to postdoctoral research with Eric Jacobsen at Harvard University before returning to California to join the Chemistry Department faculty at UC Irvine in 2005. In 2011 Vanderwal was named a UCI Chancellor's Faculty Fellow and has been a full professor since 2013. His research has been recognized with numerous awards including an ACS A. C. Cope Scholar Award and the A. R. Katritzky Junior Award in Heterocyclic Chemistry in 2017.

Chris Vanderwal said: "I am honoured to have been chosen as the 2020 Springer Heterocyclic Chemistry Award winner, and to be added to the list that includes Profs. Glorius, Waser, and Maulide, whose work I admire very much. This award is a great recognition of the hard work of my student and postdoctoral co-workers. I relish the opportunity to meet and interact with my European colleagues in heterocyclic chemistry at the ECHC meeting in Rouen."

The Springer Heterocyclic Chemistry Award was created by Springer and the series editors of the book review series Topics in Heterocyclic Chemistry. The award is presented every two to three years to an outstanding independent academic researcher working in the field of heterocyclic chemistry. To be considered, candidates should hold an assistant, associate or full professorship at a university or research institute and be 50 years or younger in the year in which the award is presented. All aspects of heterocyclic chemistry, including experimental and theoretical work, are eligible.

"Heterocyclic chemistry makes up an important part of our organic chemistry publication programme at Springer, and it is therefore our pleasure to acknowledge Chris Vanderwal's highly creative research in this field through the Springer Heterocyclic Chemistry Award 2020," said Charlotte Hollingworth, executive editor at Springer.

The award winner receives a travel grant to attend the European Colloquium on Heterocyclic Chemistry (ECHC), at which he or she holds a special lecture. In addition, there is a €1,000 cash prize and a lifelong online subscription to Topics in Heterocyclic Chemistry.

Past winners of the award include Jérôme Waser at the EPFL in Switzerland, Frank Glorius at the University of Muenster in Germany and Nuno Maulide at the University of Vienna.


Further Information

The award will be presented in Rouen, France, at the ECHC from August 25-28, 2020.

For more information about Topics in Heterocyclic Chemistry, please see Topics in Heterocyclic Chemistry.

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