Groves earns Grand Prix in chemistry

John Groves, the Hugh Stott Taylor Chair of Chemistry, is one of two people selected to receive the 2008 Grand Prix de la Fondation de la Maison de la Chimie. The ceremony will take place Oct. 1 in Paris.

The award is given every other year "honoring an original work in chemistry of benefit to mankind, society or nature." Groves was cited for his work with cytochrome P450 enzymes and model metalloporphyrin catalysts.

He will share the prize with Jean-Pierre Maffrand, former head of drug discovery at the pharmaceutical company Sanofi-Aventis, who discovered clopidogrel (sold worldwide as Plavix), the anti-platelet aggregation drug. The connection is that Plavix becomes activated in the body by the actions of cytochrome P450 enzymes for which Groves and his group determined the chemical mechanism. The research effort in Groves' group at Princeton has been supported by the National Institutes of Health and by the National Science Foundation.

A Princeton faculty member since 1985, Groves conducts research at the interface of organic, inorganic and biological chemistry. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.