Gassman Memorial Seminar Presents Cutting-Edge Chemist

February 28, 2012


BUFFALO, NY - Canisius College presents a lecture by Melanie Sanford, PhD, the Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Chemistry at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, onThursday, March 1 at 1 p.m. in the Montante Cultural Center. Sanford’s talk, entitled “Tackling Global Challenges in Sustainable Chemistry Using Transition Metal Catalysis,” is the college’s 2012 Paul G. Gassman Memorial Seminar sponsored by the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. The event is free and open to the public. 

Sanford is a leading researcher in the design of new synthetic strategies for transforming unreactive and inert carbon to hydrogen bonds into moieties that are readily amenable to chemical modification. This work has profound implications for enabling a more efficient and environmentally friendly synthesis of chemicals including pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals and plastics.

Sanford is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards presented by both U.S. and international chemistry professional societies, including the American Chemical Society (ACS) and the Royal Society of Chemistry; from major foundations including the MacArthur and Beckman foundations and from several pharmaceutical and chemical companies. In addition, she is a MacArthur Fellow (2011), a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2011) and an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Research Fellow (2006). Sanford is the recipient of the ACS Award in Pure Chemistry (2011), the ACS Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award (2008), the Royal Society of Chemistry Fluorine Prize (2011), a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (2006), and the BASF Catalysis Award (2009), among others.

Paul Gassman, PhD, was a distinguished alumnus of Canisius College and a major benefactor who established an endowment for a lecture series. He died prematurely in 1993 and this seminar series was established in his honor. The Gassman Memorial Seminar series provides opportunities for science majors in the beginning of their college studies, to meet with and hear a renowned chemist discuss her research, and the impact of her work on our environment and society. Previous speakers have included Jerrold Meinwald, PhD (Cornell University), Harry Gray, PhD (California Institute of Technology), Carolyn Bertozzi, PhD (University of California, Berkeley), and Geoffrey Coates (Cornell University).

For more information, contact Mary O’Sullivan, PhD, professor of chemistry, at (716)888-2352.

Canisius College is one of 28 Catholic, Jesuit colleges in the nation and the premier private college in Western New York. Canisius prepares leaders - intelligent, caring, faithful individuals - able to pursue and promote excellence in their professions, their communities and their service to humanity.