American Chemical Society recognizes landmark chemistry research at Rockefeller University

October 15, 2000

Two Nobel laureates, Bruce Merrifield and Gunter Blobel will discuss the "chemistry of life" for which Rockefeller University will be honored during a centennial symposium on October 20. American Chemical Society President Daryle Busch will officially designate research in nucleic acids and proteins at Rockefeller University as a National Historic Chemical Landmark at noon that day.

For more than a century, scientists at Rockefeller University have enhanced our understanding of the molecular basis of life. They showed that DNA transfers genetic information, and that the sugars ribose and deoxyribose are the key building blocks of the nucleic acids RNA and DNA.

Over the course of the 20th century, five Nobel prizes in chemistry have been bestowed upon Rockefeller University scientists. The University has ties to 21 Nobel laureates. This year, neurobiologist Paul Greengard won the Nobel prize for medicine for his discovery of how dopamine and other transmitters in the brain act on the nervous system.

The University's Nobel laureates in chemistry include John Northrop and Wendell Stanley (1946) for isolating pure enzymes and viruses; Stanford Moore and William Stein (1972) for research on interrelationships between the structure and activity of the ribonuclease molecule; and Robert Merrifield (1984) for synthesizing peptides and proteins to penetrate and manipulate biological molecules. Merrifield will speak at the landmark designation.
John D. Rockefeller founded the university that bears his name in 1901 after his grandson died from scarlet fever. It was the first institution in the United States devoted solely to biomedical research and understanding the underlying causes of disease.

The National Historic Chemical Landmarks Program recognizes historic achievements in chemistry, chemical engineering, and the chemical industry.

For additional information on the schedule of events for the centennial symposium and designation, visit

American Chemical Society

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