Posted on January 25, 2017

Dr. Peter Stang from the University of Utah (USA) gave the third talk in Texas A&M University at Qatar’s 2016-2017 Distinguished Lecture Series in Education City.

Stang is Distinguished Professor in the Department of Chemistry, the David P. Gardner Presidential Chair and former president of the University of Utah. Stang, an international leader in the fields of physics, organic, inorganic and petroleum chemistry, is renowned for significantly advancing organic chemistry during the past five decades. He and his team act as molecular architects who rearrange the building blocks of chemistry to create new and better products to serve advanced medicine, information storage and energy. While much of his work has been fundamental in nature, his contributions have led to significant development of materials for advanced medicine, energy applications and other such benefits to society.

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In his talk, “Having Fun with Molecules,” he discussed how easy it can be to create very complex and potentially very useful molecules through very simple self-assembly processes, which are “self-healing and self-correcting — that’s why nature uses it!” One real-world application of building molecules through self-assembly is the most widely used anti-tumor agent, Cisplatin. Born in Germany, Stang lived in Hungary for most of his childhood until his family fled the Soviet invasion of Hungary and settled in Chicago, Ill. Stang, who did not speak English, had a challenging high school experience, but eventually earned his undergraduate degree in 1963 from DePaul University and his Ph.D. in 1966 from the University of California, Berkeley.

Among his awards and recognitions are the Priestley Medal, National Medal of Science, the American Chemical Society (ACS) Division of Organic Chemistry Paul G. Gassman Distinguished Service Award, and the ACS F.A. Cotton Medal for Excellence in Chemical Research. He has been named a member of the U.S. national Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a Foreign Member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and a fellow of AAAS and JSPS. Texas A&M at Qatar’s Distinguished Lecture attracts world-class experts to campus, encouraging discourse among faculty and researchers in Education City and the local community on important topics in science, engineering and technology. This sharing of scholarship fosters intellectual discourse and encourages the development of critical thinking, lifelong learning and a responsibility to global awareness.