Sorensen to receive national chemistry award

Erik Sorensen, the Arthur Allan Patchett Professor in Organic Chemistry at Princeton, has been recognized by the American Chemical Society (ACS) for his research excellence.

Sorensen, who joined the faculty in 2003, has been selected to receive an Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award, which recognizes and encourages excellence in organic chemistry.

Sorensen specializes in the field of organic natural product synthesis, seeking to understand and appreciate the efficiency with which nature creates architecturally complex, biologically active natural products. Part of that effort involves seeking out chemical reactions that can transform commonplace chemicals into molecules that show promise as therapeutic agents.

Before coming to Princeton, Sorensen was on the chemistry faculty at the Scripps Research Institute and the Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology. In 2001, he was a Woodward Scholar at Harvard University. Last year, he served as the Givaudan/Karrer Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Zurich. His previous awards include a Beckman Young Investigator Award and the Pfizer Global Research Award for Excellence in Organic Chemistry.

The award cites Sorensen for "contributions as a scholar, educator and pioneer of the field of natural product synthesis and complex target synthesis." Sorensen will be presented with the award next March during the 237th ACS National Meeting in Salt Lake City.

The Cope Scholar Award consists of $5,000, a certificate, and a $40,000 unrestricted research grant to be assigned by the recipient to any university or nonprofit institution. Ten Cope Scholars are named annually -- four between the ages of 36 and 49, four age 50 or older, and two 35 and younger.