Speakers » George M. Whitesides
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George M. Whitesides, Professor of Chemistry, Harvard UniversityShow Biography
George M. Whitesides is a chemist and professor of chemistry at Harvard University. He is best known for his work in the areas of NMR spectroscopy, organometallic chemistry, molecular self-assembly, soft lithography, microfabrication, microfluidics, and nanotechnology. Whitesides began his independent career as an assistant professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1963 and remained there until 1982. While at MIT, he played a pivotal role in the development of the Corey-House-Posner-Whitesides reaction, which now bears his name. As of March 2008, he has the highest Hirsch index rating of all living chemists.
Whitesides is the author of more than 950 scientific articles and is listed as an inventor on more than 50 patents. He ranked 5th on Thomson ISI’s list of the 1000 most cited chemists from 1981-1997. Whitesides has co-founded over 12 companies with a combined market capitalization of over $20 billion. These companies include Genzyme, GelTex, Theravance, Surface Logix, Nano-Terra, and WMR Biomedical. Whitesides has mentored more than 300 graduate students, postdocs, and visiting scholars. He serves on the editorial advisory boards of several scientific journals, including Angewandte Chemie, Chemistry & Biology, and Small.
Whitesides is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Sciences, and the National Academy of Engineering. He is also a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Among many of his awards, Whitesides is the recipient of the American Chemical Society’s Award in Pure Chemistry (1975), the Arthur C. Cope Award (1995), National Medal of Science (1998), the Kyoto Prize in Materials Science and Engineering (2003), the Dan David Prize (2005), the Welch Award in Chemistry (2005), and the Priestly Medal (2007), the highest honor conferred by the ACS.
Whitesides was recently awarded the 2009 Benjamin Franklin Medal in Chemistry for his pioneering chemical research in molecular self-assembly and innovative nanofabrication techniques that have resulted in rapid, inexpensive fabrication of ultra small devices.
Whitesides is currently the Woodford L. and Ann A. Flowers University Professor at Harvard, one of only 21 University Professorships at the institution. He maintains an active research group of over 35 graduate and postdoctoral students with a four-person office support staff and lab space covering more than 6,000 square feet. Whitesides’ current research interests include “physical and organic chemistry, materials science, biophysics, complexity, surface science, microfluidics, self-assembly, micro- and nanotechnology, science for developing economies, origin of life, and cell-surface biochemistry.” The single primary objective of his lab is “to fundamentally change the paradigms of science.”Share |