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Bergman wins National Academy of Sciences award

Rebecca Wilson and Robert Bergman

Rebecca Wilson and Robert Bergman discuss their latest research findings.

Chemistry professor Robert Bergman, the Gerald E. K. Branch Distinguished Professor, has won the prestigious National Academy of Sciences Award in Chemical Sciences. This honor - including a medal and prize of $15,000 - is awarded annually for innovative research in the chemical sciences that contributes to the better understanding of the natural sciences and to the benefit of humanity. Bergman was acknowledged "for numerous innovative contributions at the interfaces of physical, organic, and inorganic chemistry, including the discoveries of alkane carbon-hydrogen bond oxidative addition and 1,4-benzene diradicals." The award, supported by the Merck Company Foundation, has been presented since 1979.

Bergman was born in Chicago, IL, in 1942. After completing his undergraduate studies in chemistry at Carleton College in 1963, he received his Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin in 1966. Following that, he went to the California Institute of Technology as a Noyes Research Instructor. He was promoted to assistant professor in 1969, associate professor in 1971, and full professor in 1973. In July 1997, he accepted an appointment as a professor of chemistry at Berkeley and moved his research group to the college about a year later. He was appointed Gerald E. K. Branch Distinguished Professor in 2002.

"The award came as quite a surprise," says Bergman. "However, I am honored to be included among the distinguished scientists who have received it in previous years. The award reflects the hard work and substantial intellectual contributions of my coworkers; it is those people who deserve much of the credit for the research that has come out of our laboratory. It also is recognition of the supportive atmosphere for fundamental research that exists in the College of Chemistry at Berkeley."


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