|Robert H. Grubbs|
|Born||February 27, 1942
Possum Trot, Kentucky
|Institutions||California Institute of Technology|
|Alma mater||University of Florida
|Known for||the development of the metathesis
method in organic synthesis
|Notable awards||Nobel Prize in Chemistry (2005)|
Birth and education
In his Nobel Prize autobiography he says, "In some places, my birthplace is listed as Calvert City, Kentucky and in others Possum Trot (both in Marshall County). I was actually born between the two, so either one really is correct." He spent his early childhood in Marshall County and attended public school at McKinley Elementary, Franklin Junior High and Paducah Tilghman High School in Paducah, Kentucky. Grubbs studied chemistry at the University of Florida where he was awarded a B.S. and an M.S.. He worked with Merle Battiste in Florida University, and Columbia University, where he obtained his Ph.D. in 1968. He was taught by Ronald Breslow in Columbia.
He next spent a year with James Collman at Stanford University. He was then made part of the faculty at Michigan State University. In 1978 he moved to California Institute of Technology where he still works as the Victor and Elizabeth Atkins Professor of Chemistry.
His main interest is for organometallic chemistry and organic chemistry. These interests are for catalysts, such as Grubbs' catalyst for olefin metathesis and ring-opening metathesis polymerization and norbornene. He also produced some important work on "living polymerization".
- Alfred P. Sloan Fellow (1974-76)
- Camille and Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award (1975-78)
- Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship (1975)
- ACS Benjamin Franklin Medal in Chemistry (2000)
- ACS Herman F. Mark Polymer Chemistry Award (2000)
- ACS Herbert C. Brown Award for Creative Research in Synthetic Methods (2001)
- Nobel Prize in Chemistry (2005)
- He was made part of the United States National Academy of Sciences in 1989 and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1994.
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