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American Institute of Chemists names Ralph Hirschmann AIC Gold Medalist

PHILADELPHIA 11 April 2003 The American Institute of Chemists (AIC) and the Chemical Heritage Foundation (CHF) will present the 2003 AIC Gold Medal to Ralph F. Hirschmann. The award ceremony will be part of Heritage Day festivities at CHF in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on Thursday, 12 June 2003.

It is fitting that the first AIC Gold Medal awarded jointly by CHF and the AIC be presented to a pharmaceutical researcher with the talent, skills, and insight of Ralph Hirschmann, said Arnold Thackray, president of CHF. At Merck, he was head of the effort that developed effective drugs to treat hypertension, congestive heart failure, severe infection, river blindness in developing countries, and many other illnesses. His remarkable accomplishments as a researcher include the synthesis of the enzyme ribonuclease in solution, the first example of protein synthesis.

The presentation of the AIC Gold Medal will be part of a day devoted to celebrating the achievement and promise of the chemical and molecular sciences. Heritage Day begins with the awarding of the Othmer Gold Medal to John D. Baldeschwieler and George S. Hammond. In the late afternoon, Hirschmann will receive the AIC Gold Medal. Following a reception, the Winthrop-Sears Medal of The Chemists Club will be presented at a dinner at nearby Carpenters Hall.

Ralph F. Hirschmann
Ralph F. Hirschmann is Makineni Professor of Bioorganic Chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania. He joined the Penn faculty in 1987 after retiring as Mercks senior vice president of basic research. He was affiliated with Merck for 37 years, during which time he fostered interdisciplinary research as well as collaborations between academia and industry, practices he has continued at Penn.

Several widely used medications stem from Hirschmanns tenure at Merck, including the parasite-fighting Ivomec. And, in a major theoretical contribution to organic chemistry, he was the first to discover that chem
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Contact: Neil Gussman
neilg@chemheritage.org
717-314-2494
Chemical Heritage Foundation
16-Apr-2003


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