Dr. Al Padwa, William P. Timmie Professor of Chemistry Emeritus, gave a lunch colloquium as part of an Emeritus College lunch series on Monday, June 18th. The colloquium, “Keeping Up with the Latest on Big Pharma, Drug Costs, and the Salutary Story of Cialis.” explored the history of the drug Cialis, including its unexpected “side effect” as a treatment for erectile disfunction and his own role as an expert witness following a legal challenge related to the drug’s patent from university researchers at Vanderbilt.
Professor Tomas Hudlicky from the Department of Chemistry at Brock University in Canada will be presenting the very first Organic Reactions lecture at Emory on March 13, 2017. Dr. Hudlicky’s research is widely recognized throughout the organic community and he has made numerous contributions to the discipline of chemistry. Tomas’s research program concentrates on the chemoenzymatic synthesis of medicinally important targets and on the development of impactful synthetic methodology and natural product synthesis.
Organic Reactions is a comprehensive reference work that contains authoritative, critical reviews of many important synthetic reactions. The aim of Organic Reactions since its initial publication in 1942 has been to assist organic chemists in the design of new experiments by providing “critical discussions of the more important synthetic reactions.”
In keeping with Organic Reactions mission to advance research and education in organic chemistry, this organization supports a number of different activities including graduate symposia, visiting professorships and the Roger Adams Award from the ACS. Organic Reactions is sponsor a Lectureship at Emory University in 2017 in recognition of Professor Al Padwa. Dr. Padwa is currently on the OR Board of Editors and generously contributes his time and effort to the Organic Reactions enterprise.
Dr. Hudlicky’s seminar,”Chemoenzymatic total synthesis of natural products: Recent progress in approaches to morphine and other complex targets,” will take place in Atwood Hall 360 at 2:00pm on Monday, March 13th. Dr. Padwa will present the Organic Reactions Endowed Lectureship Award to Dr. Hudlicky at the seminar.
Last week, Professor Emeritus Al Padwa received the “100th Anniversary of Prof. A.N. Kost” Medal for Outstanding Achievements in Heterocyclic Chemistry from the International Scientific Partnership Foundation of the Lomonosov Moscow State University Mendelev Russian Chemical Society.
During the same week, the department celebrated the second Annual Padwa Lecture with a seminar by Dr. Sarah Reisman from the California Institute for Technology entitled “Necessity is the Mother of Invention: Natural Products and the Chemistry they Inspire.” The Padwa Lecture is an annual lecture made possible by a generous gift from Dr. Padwa. The inaugural Padwa lecture took place in fall 2014. When selecting Padwa lecturers, the department gives preference to researchers in the field of organic chemistry.
Emeritus Professor of Chemistry Al Padwa established a lectureship, The Al Padwa Lecturer Fund, through a generous gift to the “MyEmory” campaign. Prof. Padwa joined the department as Timmie Professor in 1979. Explaining his decision to start the fund to MyEmory News, Prof. Padwa said: “The fronters of science are not just being challenged here at Emory. It is important for students to be able to see people from elsewhere and to pick up the enthusiasm and passion of very motivating speakers. I can’t think of a better way to reach out to new generations of students.”
Al Padwa was awarded a Heilbrun Distinguished Emeritus Fellowship. Fellowships to emeritus faculty in the Arts and Sciences are funded by a generous contribution from the family of Emeritus Professor of Psychology, Alfred B. Heilbrun Jr. Each fellowship, administered by the College, carries a stipend of $10,000. An annual reception for the current and the previous years’ fellows provides the opportunity to acknowledge fellowship recipients’ continuing research and scholarship beyond retirement. The fellowship generally begins at the start of each academic year.
Al Padwa‘s mobiles that can be found throughout the Emory Chemistry Department are featured in C&EN magazine.
Although Padwa’s mobiles do not have an obvious chemistry connection, he claims that the ceiling hangers have been inspired by chemistry. “There is so much science that is inherently connected with the nature of complex molecules in three-dimensional space,” he says. “How I regard mobiles is that they float in 3-D. Mobiles possess oddball shapes, which are all in balance, and there is a lot of symbolism between 3-D mobiles and complex molecular structures. That’s why it ignites my imagination and enthusiasm, and that’s why I build them, much as I assemble complex natural products in our laboratory.”
The cover presents an account of a succession of chemical projects with which the author has been involved, each of which triggered or initiated his next research undertaking. In addition to his research, the author’s second passion in life lies in climbing tall mountains. The chemistry on the cover is superimposed over a picture of Annapurna, Nepal—the site of the author’s latest climb. See Padwa, p 6421. The Perspective by Professor Albert Padwa is based on his participation at the symposium celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Organic Division at the 2008 fall meeting of the American Chemical Society.
Congratulations to Al Padwa for having published his 600th manuscript! The milestone manuscript, “A Chemistry Cascade: From Physical Organic Studies of Alkoxy Radicals to Alkaloid Synthesis” appears in JOC Perspective.