Richard C Larock is Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at Iowa State University. He received his BS degree summa cum laude in 1967 from the University of California at Davis and his PhD from Purdue University in 1972, under the direction of Professor Herbert C Brown, the 1979 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry. In 1971, he was an NSF Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard University under Professor E J Corey, the 1990 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry. In 1972, he joined the Chemistry Department of Iowa State University, where he rose through the ranks, to University Professor in 1999 and Distinguished Professor in 2007.
Professor Larock is a pioneer in the use of palladium catalysts in organic synthesis, particularly in the synthesis of carbocycles and heterocycles. Dr Larock has also discovered a remarkable range of novel rubber, adhesive, coating, elastomeric and plastic materials and biocomposites made from natural oils. Professor Larock has given over 420 research presentations and published about 350 articles, 32 patents, and 4 books. The books include two on applications of organomercury compounds in organic synthesis and two editions of the best selling classic Comprehensive Organic Transformations.
Dr Larock’s contributions have earned several major awards, including an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellowship, a DuPont Young Faculty Scholar Award, two Merck Academic Development Awards, the Iowa Regent’s Award for Faculty Excellence, the Edward Leete Award of the American Chemical Society, the Paul Rylander Award of the Organic Reactions Catalysis Society, and an American Chemical Society Arthur C. Cope Senior Scholar Award.