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The Midwest Award

What is the Midwest Award?

The St Louis Section established the ACS Midwest Award in 1944 to publicly recognize outstanding achievements in chemistry in the Midwest region. The award is conferred annually on a scientist who has made meritorious contributions to the advancement of pure or applied chemistry, chemical education, and the profession of chemistry. The award ceremony takes place during a banquet at the Midwest Regional ACS meeting in October. The awardee or the nominator usually organizes an Award Symposium with speakers in the awardee’s field of study.

Jeffrey Aube portrait

... and the winner of the 68th Midwest Award is ...

Jeff Aubé is University Distinguished Professor of Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Kansas (faculty profile). Professor Aubé received his BS degree from the University of Miami in 1980, where he worked under the direction of Professor Bob Gawley. In 1984, he received his PhD degree from Duke University, where he worked with Steve Baldwin. After completing a postdoc with Samuel Danishefsky at Yale University, Jeff began his independent career at the University of Kansas in 1986. Over the next 25 years, he established one of the preeminent research groups in the areas of synthetic and medicinal chemistry.

Dr Aubé is best-known for developing the Aubé-Schmidt reaction for the synthesis of lactams that are prevalent in, and useful precursors to, biologically active natural products. Always at the forefront of chemistry, Aubé recently demonstrated the power of his method for discovery of new non-natural chemical entities through diversity-oriented synthesis, which led to the discovery of unprecedented selective κ opioid inhibitors (PNAS 2011, 6727). Beyond the syntheses of biologically active compounds, Jeff has made many contributions to synthetic methods that are driven by a deep understanding of physical-organic chemistry. Examples include the use of cation-pi interactions to control the stereochemistry of rearrangements and his extensive work on chemistry of “twisted amides” that lack the resonance stabilization typical of amides.

In addition to the impact of his own research, Aubé has been a leader of collaborative research efforts at the University of Kansas and in the midwest. Jeff successfully led an NIH center for Chemical Methodologies and Library Development (KU-CMLD) for the last 10 years. His CMLD has resulted in over 100 publications and produced about 10,000 compounds for screening. In addition, he successfully competed to form an NIH Specialized Chemistry Center which has already developed 20 quality inhibitors of important targets including Mycobacterium tuberculosis, bacterial kinases, hepatitis C, and Gaucher’s disease.

Prof Aubé's service to the chemical community is likewise high-profile, including participation on many advisory boards, being Associate Editor of Beilstein Journal of Organic Chemistry, and chairing the SBCA Study Section of the NIH. His visibility and scholarship have led to his receipt of numerous other awards, from his early-career Alfred P Sloan Fellowship to an Arthur C Cope Scholar Award in 2012.

Jeffrey Aubé will receive the Midwest Award at the 47th ACS Midwest Regional Meeting in Omaha, NE, October 24-27.

Midwest Award Nominations

To be eligible, a nominee’s cited work must have been performed while he or she was residing within the Midwest Region of the ACS, which includes Missouri, Arkansas, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Southern Illinois, and South Dakota. However, the nominee does not have to be an ACS member. Neither the nominee nor the nominator has to currently reside in any of these locations. Nominees can be from industry, academia, government or private practice.

Nominations must include a nominating letter, two or more seconding letters, a curriculum vitae, a brief biography, and documented, objective information regarding the outstanding achievements of the nominee. If the nominee is an academician, a list of persons who have received advanced degrees under his or her direction should be included. Please submit nine copies of all nomination material to the Midwest Award coordinator. Nominations received on or before the deadline of March 31 are considered for that calendar year.

The 2012 Midwest Award will be presented at the 47th Midwest Regional ACS Meeting to be held in Omaha, Nebraska, October 24-27, 2012. The ceremonies held on Thursday, October 25, will feature a Midwest Award Symposium and the Midwest Award Lecture. The award, consisting of a medallion and a cash honorarium, will be presented at the Award Banquet. A condition of the Midwest Award is that the recipient gives the Midwest Award Lecture and attends the Award Banquet.

Previous Winners

Year Ordinal Recipient Affiliation
1st Lucas P Kyrides Monsanto Company
1945 2nd Carl F and Gerty T Cori Washington University
1946 3rd Anderson W Ralston Armour & Co (Chicago)
1947 no winner  
1948 4th Paul L Day University of Arkansas–Little Rock
1949 5th Robert D Coghill U S Dept of Agriculture (Peoria)
1950 6th William S Haldeman Monmouth College
1951 7th Henry Gilman Iowa State University
1952 8th Edward Mallinckrodt, Jr Mallinckrodt Chemicals
1953 9th Roger Adams University of Illinois
1954 10th Ralph M Hixon Iowa State College
1955 11th Cliff S Hamilton University of Nebraska
1956 12th Carroll A Hochwalt Monsanto Company
1957 13th Ray Q Brewster University of Kansas
1958 14th Charles D Hurd Northwestern University
1959 15th Melvin DeGroote Petrolite Corporation
1960 16th Charles D Harrington Mallinckrodt Chemical Works
1961 17th Samuel I Weissman Washington University
1962 18th Oliver H Lowry Washington University
1963 19th Herman Pines Northwestern University
1964 20th Harold H Strain Argonne National Laboratory
1965 21st Richard H Wiley University of Louisville
1966 22nd Ralph G Pearson Northwestern University
1967 23rd Frank H Spedding Iowa State University
1968 24th Byron Riegel G D Searle and Co
1969 25th Joseph J Katz Argonne National Laboratory
1970 26th Irving M Klotz Northwestern University
1971 27th John C Bailar, Jr University of Illinois
1972 28th Myron L Bender Northwestern University
1973 29th Herbert S Gutowsky University of Illinois
1974 30th Glen A Russell Iowa State University
1975 31st Takeru Higuchi University of Kansas
1976 32nd Stanley Wawzonek University of Iowa
1977 33rd Paul Kuroda University of Arkansas
1978 34th Orville Chapman Iowa State University/UCLA
1979 35th Ralph Adams University of Kansas
1980 36th Robert Hansen Iowa State University
1981 37th Donald W Setser Kansas State University
1982 38th Klaus Ruedenberg Iowa State University
1983 39th Jakob Kleinberg University of Kansas
1984 40th Norman Cromwell University of Nebraska
1985 41st John Corbett Iowa State University
1986 42nd Charles W Gehrke University of Missouri–Columbia
1987 43rd Jacob Schaefer Monsanto Company
1988 44th C David Gutsche Washington University
1989 45th Robert W Murray University of Missouri–St Louis
1990 46th Donald J Burton University of Iowa
1991 47th Michael J Welch Washington University
1992 48th Richard L Schowen University of Kansas
1993 49th Daniel W Armstrong University of Missouri–Rolla
1994 50th Theodore Kuwana University of Kansas
1995 51st Thomas J Barton Iowa State University
1996 52nd Garland R Marshall Washington University Medical School
1997 53rd Reuben Rieke University of Nebraska–Lincoln
1998 54th Kenneth J Klabunde Kansas State University
1999 55th Dewey E Holten Washington University
2000 56th Joyce Y Corey University of Missouri–St Louis
2001 57th Vasu Nair University of Iowa
2002 58th Michael Gross Washington University
2003 59th Kristin Bowman-James University of Kansas
2004 60th Mark S Gordon Iowa State University
2005 61st Jerry Atwood University of Missouri–Columbia
2006 62nd Jay Switzer University of Missouri–Rolla
2007 63rd George Gokel University of Missouri–St Louis
2008 64th Daryle H Busch University of Kansas
2009 65th Richard C Larock Iowa State University
2010 66th John Verkade Iowa State University
2011 67th Xiao Cheng Zeng University of Nebraska–Lincoln
2012 68th Jeffrey Aubé University of Kansas

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