IT professors win national ACS honors

Chemistry professors George Barany and Donald Truhlar were among the approximately 50 scientists who won national awards from the American Chemical Society (ACS) this fall.

With nearly 160,000 members, ACS is the world's largest professional society, so "having two awards in a single department is really rare," says Distinguished McKnight University Professor Jeffrey Roberts, department head. Since 1997, chemistry faculty at the University have won seven ACS national awards.

Barany, also a Distinguished McKnight University Professor, received the Ralph F. Hirschmann Award in Peptide Chemistry for creating pioneering methods of synthesizing, or constructing, peptides.

Truhlar, a computational chemist and director of the University's Supercomputing Institute, received the Peter Debye Award in Physical Chemistry for his work in developing methods for computing the rates at which chemical reactions occur.

The ACS national awards recognize individual or team accomplishments in diverse fields of the chemical sciences. The awards were announced at the ACS fall national meeting and will be presented at the organization's spring 2006 national meeting.