Peter Dervan

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Peter B. Dervan
Born (1945-06-28) June 28, 1945 (age 68)
Nationality USA
Fields Chemistry
Institutions Yale
Alma mater Boston College
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Boston College High School
Doctoral students Peter Schultz, Eric Kool, Laura Kiessling, Milan Mrksich, Anna Mapp
Notable awards

Harrison Howe Award (1988) Arthur C. Cope Award (1993) ACS Gibbs Medal (1993) Nichols Medal (1994) Maison de la Chimie Foundation Prize (1996) Remsen Award (1998) Kirkwood Medal (1998) Alfred Bader Award (1999) Max Tishler Prize (1999) Linus Pauling Award (1999) Richard C. Tolman Medal (1999) Tetrahedron Prize (2000) Harvey Prize (Israel) (2002) Ronald Breslow Award (2005) Wilbur Cross Medal (2005)

National Medal of Science (2006)

Peter B. Dervan (born June 28, 1945) is the Bren Professor of Chemistry at California Institute of Technology. The primary focus of his research is the development and study of small organic molecules that can sequence-specifically recognize DNA, a field in which he is an internationally recognized authority. The most important of these small molecules are pyrrole–imidazole polyamides.[1] He is married to fellow Caltech chemist Jacqueline Barton.


Dervan received his B.S. degree from Boston College in 1967. He began graduate studies at the University of Wisconsin then moved on to complete his graduate studies at Yale University, in the laboratory of Jerome Berson. He received his Ph.D. degree from Yale in 1972, and performed postdoctoral research at Stanford through 1973, as an NIH Postdoctoral Fellow.


From Stanford, Dervan became an assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry at Caltech. He received tenure in 1979 and is currently the Bren Professor of Chemistry. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences. He served as Chair of Caltech's Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. He is a founding member of the Scientific Advisory Board for Gilead Sciences. He also serves on the Board of Directors for Beckman Coulter. He serves on the editorial advisory board for the journals Bioorganic Chemistry, Bioconjugate Chemistry, Tetrahedron, Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry, Current Opinion in Drug Discovery and Development, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and ACS Chemical Biology. He serves as a member of the Board of Scientific Governors of The Scripps Research Institute. He was recently elected as an Alumni Fellow to the Yale Corporation, and was awarded the National Medal of Science in 2006 for his "fundamental research contributions" in organic chemistry.[2][3] In 2014, he was awarded the ACS Chemical Biology Lectureship.[4]

Selected publications[edit]

  • Dervan, P.B.; A.T. Poulin-Kerstien and E.J. Fechter and B.S. Edelson (2005). "Regulation of Gene Expression by Synthetic DNA-Binding Ligands". Top. Curr. Chem. 235: 1–31. 


  1. ^ "Molecular recognition of DNA by small molecules". Bioorg. Med. Chem. 9: 2215–2235. 2001. PMID 11553460. 
  2. ^ "2006 National Medal of Science Winners". United States Government. Retrieved 2009-02-08. 
  3. ^ National Science Foundation - The President's National Medal of Science
  4. ^ "ACS Chemical Biology Lectureship". Division of Biological Chemistry. Retrieved 2014-01-15. 

External links[edit]