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MacMillan receives 2015 Hamilton Award

Awards- - By Tien Nguyen, Department of Chemistry

David W. C. MacMillan, the James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor of Chemistry at Princeton, was presented with the 2015 Cliff S. Hamilton Award on October 29, 2015 at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, for his contributions to the field of synthetic organic chemistry.

Professor David MacMillan (right) with Professor James Takacs, the Charles Mach University Professor at UNL
Photo credit: Peta-Gaye Clachar, UNL Chemistry

The Award was named in honor of Cliff S. Hamilton Sr., a former Department of Chemistry Chair and Dean of the Graduate College at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, retiring in 1957. Hamilton was the Chairman of the Organic Division of the American Chemical Society and served on the editorial board for several major journals. He also helped develop two important therapeutic pharmaceuticals, Mapharsen, used to treat syphilis, and Camoquin, an antimalarial drug.

Nine of the Hamilton Awardees in previous years have also been recipients of the Nobel Prize. It has been presented annually since 1979, when Elias J. Corey accepted the award and gave the first Hamilton Award Lecture.

MacMillan gave two lectures at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, one for the chemistry department and one for a general audience. A banquet followed the lectures, where members of Hamilton’s family, his son and grandchildren, were in attendance.

During his visit, MacMillan also sat down with Peta-Gaye Clachar, a recruiting and admissions coordinator at UNL, to chat about his research, the field of synthetic chemistry and his advice to young chemists. Watch the full interview here.