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Former U. of Delaware professor wins Nobel

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

Chemistry students and faculty at the University of Delaware are basking in a little bit of reflected glory after yesterday’s announcement of the Nobel Prize in chemistry.

Professor Emeritus Richard Heck and two other scientists will share the honor for their contributions to organic chemistry.

The winners pioneered a new way to bind molecules. Klaus Theopold, who leads the university’s chemistry department, says Heck was the first to use the metal palladium as a catalyst to create carbon-to-carbon couplings.

Theopold met Heck, who now lives in the Philippines, several years ago when the university created a lecture series in Heck’s honor.

“It is certainly true that the Heck Reaction is well known,” says Theopold.

Ei-ichi Negishi, 75, a chemistry professor at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind., and Akira Suzuki, 80, a retired professor from Hokkaido University in Sapporo, Japan, share the prize.

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