October 2008 Meeting
Basolo Award Presentation
Basolo Medal

Joint Meeting of the Northwestern University Department of Chemistry and the Chicago ACS Section

Basolo Medal


Dr. Robert H. Grubbs

Nobel Laureate,
Victor and Elizabeth Atkins Professor of Chemistry,
California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California


Prof. Robert H. Grubbs
Photo of Professor Robert H. Grubbs courtesy of Caltech

Topic:   "The Synthesis of Large and Small Molecules using Olefin Metathesis Catalysts"
Date:  Friday, October 17, 2008

Background information about the Basolo Award

NOTE: The Basolo Medal Lecture will be held at 4:30 P.M. - 5:45 P.M. at Northwestern University.
--- The Medalist Lecture is open to the public and admission is free to all those wishing to attend. ---


Northwestern University
Technological Institute
2145 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL
Lecture Room LR2


Ruthenium-based olefin metathesis catalysts have provided new routes to olefins that appear in a variety of structures. Their functional group tolerance and ease of use allow their application in the synthesis of multifunctional bioactive molecules. The same systems are also useful for the synthesis of an array of new materials from multifunctional polymers to supramolecular systems. Underlying these developments has been the discovery of active catalysts with controlled selectivity through the synthesis of new ligands that control the geometry of the intermediate carbene and metallacycle complexes.


Dr. Robert H. Grubbs received his B.S. in Chemistry in from the University of Florida in 1963 and his Ph.D.in Chemistry from Columbia University in 1968. He is currently the Victor and Elizabeth Atkins Professor of Chemistry at the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California, USA, where he has been a faculty member since 1978. Before moving to Caltech, he was at Michigan State University from 1969 to 1978 achieving the rank of Associate Professor.

The research group of Grubbs is involved in the design, synthesis, and mechanistic studies of complexes that catalyze basic organic transformations. The major focus of the group over the past few years has been on the olefin metathesis reaction. To optimize the utility of this reaction, new catalysts have been developed that are extremely tolerant of organic functional groups. Due to their high-activity, functional group tolerance, and ease of use, these ruthenium based catalysts have found wide applications in organic and polymer synthesis. He has 450+ publications and 90+ patents based on his research.

Professor Grubbs’ awards have included an Alfred P. Sloan Fellow (1974-76), Camille and Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award (1975-78), Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship (1975), ACS National Award in Organometallic Chemistry (1988), Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award (1990), ACS Award in Polymer Chemistry (1995), Nagoya Medal of Organic Chemistry (1997), Fluka Reagent of the Year (1998), Mack Memorial Award (1999), Benjamin Franklin Medal in Chemistry (2000), ACS Herman F. Mark Polymer Chemistry Award (2000), ACS Herbert C. Brown Award for Creative Research in Synthetic Methods (2001), ACS Arthur C. Cope Award (2002), ACS Award for Creative Research in Homogeneous or Heterogeneous Catalysis (2003), Richard C. Tolman Medal (Southern California Section ACS - 2003), ACS Tetrahedron Prize for Creativity in Organic Chemistry (2003), Pauling Award Medal (2003), Bristol-Myers Squibb Distinguished Achievement Award in Organic Synthesis (2004), Kirkwood Medal (2005) (New Haven Section, ACS), Paul Karrer Gold Medallion (2005) (University of Zurich), August-wilhelm-von-Hofmann-Denkmunze (2005) (German Chemical Society), Nobel Prize in Chemistry (2005), Havinga Medal (2006) (Leiden University), Golden Plate Award (2006) (Academy of Achievement), and Tetrahedron Most Cited Paper 2003-2006 Award (“Olefin Metathesis”). He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in1989, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1994, and the Honorary Fellowship of the Royal Society of Chemistry in 2006.

Location of the dinner
   and general meeting:     
Zhivago's Restaurant & Banquets
9925 Gross Point Road,
Skokie Illinois

Cost:     $35.00 each for Section members and one guest.   Students and out of work $18.   $37 for others.
Basolo Lecture:    4:30 PM - 5:45 PM at Northwestern University
Job Club:  5:30 PM - 6:30 PM at Zhivago's Restaurant

Reception:    6:15 PM - 7:15 PM at Zhivago's Restaurant.  Complimentary wine and hors d'oeuvres
Dinner:    7:15 PM at Zhivago's Restaurant
General Meeting :   8:30 PM

Reservations:   (847) 647-8405, or by e-mail: chicagoacs@ameritech.net
                  by noon, Tuesday, October 14

Please honor your reservations. We must pay for all dinners ordered. No-shows will be billed.

From the city: Take Lake Shore Drive North to Sheridan Road into Evanston. Continue on Sheridan Road to the Tech Institute. From the west: take I-88 east to 294 north to Dempster east. Proceed east on Dempster into Evanston. Turn left onto Chicago Ave. and proceed to Sheridan Road. Take Sheridan Road north to the Tech Institute. The Technological Institute is at the intersection of Sheridan Road and Noyes Street in Evanston.

To those attending the Basolo Medal lecture, parking after 4:00 P.M. is available in the lot across from the Technological Institute at the corner of Noyes Street and Sheridan Road. Parking is also available on the side streets just west of this lot--however, observe the posted signs. Car-pooling is always encouraged.

Lecture room 3 is on the first floor of the Technological Institute and is most easily reached by entering through the main doors facing Sheridan Road. The lecture room is clearly marked and there will be signs at the entrance to guide you to the room.

DIRECTIONS TO Zhivago's Restaurant:
From the Tech Institute: Go North on Sheridan Rd. and turn left on Central St. Turn left on Gross Point Rd. and proceed to the restaurant.

From Edens Expressway heading North:  Take Dempster east to Gross Point Road.  Turn left on Gross Point and proceed north to the restaurant.

From Edens Expressway heading South:  Exit on Old Orchard Road.  Go east to Gross Point Road.  Turn right on Gross Point and proceed south to the restaurant.

PARKING is free in their lot.


6:15 PM - 7:15 PM Reception:   Complementary wine, soft drinks, and hors d'oeuvres

7:15 PM Dinner:

APPETIZER COURSE -  Fresh tomato and mozzarella salad, breads, fire cracker meat rolls with Asian sauce, calamari and fresh vegetables served family style

SOUP COURSE:  Cream of Mushroom

DINNER COURSE:  Choice of entrée

DESSERT COURSE - Assorted pastries and fresh fruit served family style.

Updated 9/30/08