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Richard F. Heck Ph.D.

Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2010
Nobel co-recipients Ei-ichi Negishizz, Akira Suzuki

Physical organic chemist. Palladium-catalyzed cross-coupling reaction. Sole author - 7 consecutive papers. Heck reaction: important concept, tool for organic and medicinal chemists; fuorescence labeling of DNA bases - sequencing DNA/Genome. Thinner computer screens in future. "Great art in test tube."

Growing orchids in early teens lead to passion for chemistry.

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Richard F. Heck was born in Springfield, MA on 15 Aug 1931 to a home maker mother and a salesman father. He was an only child. At the age of eight the family moved to Los Angeles, CA. His interest in orchids in his early teens lead to his passion for chemistry. In 1952, at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) he received a bachelor's degree majoring in chemistry. He commenced graduate studies with Professor Saul Winstein as supervisor. Heck loved "the way you can make all sorts of compounds". In 1954 he obtained a Ph.D. in physical organic chemistry, having conducted research in regarding neighboring group participation in the solvolysis of arylsulfonates.

Richard Heck
Photo: Holger Motzkau/Wikimedia Commons

Name: Richard Fred Heck
Birth: 15 August 1931, Springfield, MA, USA
Death: 9 October 2015, Manila, Philippines
Institution: University of Delaware, USA
Award: "for palladium-catalyzed cross couplings in organic synthesis"
Subject: Organic chemistry
Portion of cash: 1/3
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