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Danishefsky Wins Top Chemistry Award

Samuel Danishefsky, the internationally-renowned organic chemist, professor of chemistry at Columbia University and director of the Laboratory for Bioorganic Chemistry at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, will receive the American Chemical Society's highest award at its fall meeting next year. The Arthur C. Cope Award, which includes a gold medal, a $25,000 award and a $150,000 award for chemical research, will be presented to Professor Danishefsky Aug. 25, 1998, at the society's Cope Symposium at ACS's fall national meeting in Boston. "I'm delighted to receive the Cope medal, all the more so because it reflects on the mass of accomplishments of my graduate students and postdoctoral colleagues over the years, including the current world-class groups," Professor Danishefsky said. Three other Columbia chemists - Gilbert Stork, Ronald Breslow and Koji Nakanishi - have won the Cope Award, which was established in 1972 "to recognize outstanding achievement in the field of organic chemistry the significance of which has become apparent within the five years preceding the year in which the award will be considered." Professor Danishefsky is renowned for his work in synthesizing the three- dimensional structures of many compounds, a field that has become central to pharmaceutical research and one pioneered by his Columbia mentor, Professor Stork. In 1993, Professor Danishefsky, then at Yale, announced a highly efficient synthesis of certain polysaccarides, compounds of linked sugars, using tools he and Professor Stork had developed. The two researchers won the 1995-96 Wolf Prize in chemistry for their work. Professor Danishefsky has been honored on many occasions for his syntheses of compounds previously found only in nature, including terpenes, steroids and alkaloids that have antibiotic and anticancer properties. In the last 10 years, he has developed a building-block approach to carbohydrate synthesis, using glycals, carbon rings with one oxygen atom, as the basic unit to build oligosaccarides, very complex carbohydrates, and glycopeptides, carbohydrates attached to peptides. A synthetic carbohydrate molecule he synthesized is being evaluated at Memorial Sloan-Kettering as a cancer vaccine. He is a graduate of Yeshiva and Harvard and was a postdoctoral fellow at Columbia. He resides in Englewood, N.J. This document is available at Working press may receive science and technology press releases via e-mail by sending a message to [email protected]. 9.8.97 19,173