Named in memory of Irving S. Sigal, a chemist who died in the 1988 bombing of PanAm Flight 103, the fellowship is awarded every other year to a scientist whose work addresses a significant problem involving both chemistry and biology. The award is open to scientists of all nationalities who have earned or will earn doctoral degrees from a graduate chemistry department in the United States.
In 1997, Luesch received his undergraduate degree from the University of Siegen in Germany. While there, he worked on the synthesis of amino acid derivatives under Professor Horst C. Uzar. Luesch will complete his Ph.D. work this summer at the University of Hawaii at Manoa under Richard E. Moore, Ph.D. He will then join The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, Calif. where he will investigate new cancer drugs as part of his postdoctoral work with Peter G. Schultz, Ph. D.
Irving S. Sigal was a medicinal chemist working at Merck & Co. Inc. when he died at age 35 in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. In 1995 Dr. Sigal's widow, Dr. Catherine T. Sigal, established the Fellowship that is currently valued at $45,000 per year. Dr. Sigal, herself a biochemist, is employed by the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation of New York City.