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03/05/2015

Professor Hoye honored with ACS Ernest Guenther Award

Professor Thomas Hoye has received the 2015 Ernest Guenther Award in the Chemistry of National Products from the American Chemical Society (ACS). This award recognizes outstanding achievements in the analysis, structure elucidation, and chemical synthesis of natural products. He will receive his award, Tuesday, March 24, at the ACS National Meeting, which is being held in Denver, March 22-26, and present his award address before the Division of Organic Chemistry.

Chemical & Engineering News recently published a story about Hoye, which can be read at http://cen.acs.org/articles/93/i9/Ernest-Guenther-Award-Chemistry-Natural.html.

While a major focus of Hoye's research is natural product chemical synthesis, one of the hallmark's of his research is its breadth. His research encompasses the development of new synthetic methods; the development of new nuclear magnetic resonance-based strategies for determination of absolute and relative configurations, including computational approaches; organometallic chemistry; polymer synthesis; development of sustainable materials from biorenewable resources; mechanistic organic chemistry; medicinal chemistry; spontaneous, non-enzyme-catalyzed events in the biosynthesis of natural products; and the development of new prodrugs and block polymer-based nanoparticles for drug and prodrug delivery.

Members of Hoye's research group have demonstrated that benzynes, arguably the most versatile of all the reactive intermediates in organic chemistry, can generally and practically be formed merely by heating appropriate triyne precursors. His group has termed this the hexadehydro-Diels–Alder (HDDA) reaction. They are also gaining new mechanistic insights about the ensuing in situ trapping reactions, which include a number of unprecedented classes of transformations. They envision that this novel strategy for generating and trapping benzynes—HDDA cascades—will lead to new approaches to the development of useful new benzenoid compounds, including libraries to support drug discovery efforts.

Hoye is a top organic chemist. Since joining the University of Minnesota chemistry faculty in 1976, he has led a highly productive and well-funded research program, bringing millions of research dollars to the university and his laboratory. Hoye has co-authored more than 190 scientific papers, and is the co-inventor of 11 patent applications. He is respected throughout the research community for his work, and last year received the 2014 Minnesota Award from the Minnesota Section of the American Chemical Society, which honors section members who have made outstanding contributions to chemical research or in service to the profession.