Stephen J. Lippard
|Stephen J. Lippard|
October 12, 1940|
|Institutions||Massachusetts Institute of Technology
|Alma mater||Haverford College
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
|Doctoral advisor||F. Albert Cotton|
|Notable awards||National Medal of Science (2005)|
Education and Career 
Lippard was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he graduated from Taylor Allderdice High School in 1958. He earned his bachelor's degree from Haverford College in 1962 and Ph.D. from the MIT in 1965, under the direction of F. Albert Cotton. He joined the faculty of Columbia University in 1966 as an Assistant Professor. He was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 1969 and full Professor in 1972. In 1983, Lippard returned to MIT as a Professor of Chemistry. He served as the head of the MIT chemistry department from 1995 to 2005.
Lippard has co-authored 800 scholarly and professional articles, edited several books and co-authored the textbook Principles of Bioinorganic Chemistry with Jeremy Berg. He currently serves as an Associate Editor of the Journal of the American Chemical Society. He previously edited the book series Progress in Inorganic Chemistry from Volume 11 to 40 and was an Associate Editor of the journal Inorganic Chemistry. Lippard serves or has served on the editorial boards of numerous other journals.
Research interests 
Lippard's research activities are at the interface of inorganic chemistry and biology. A major focus of his activities is to understand and improve anticancer drugs in the cisplatin family. He also studies enzymes that consume greenhouse gas hydrocarbons like methane and devises optical and MRI sensors to study brain function.
Notable Contributions 
Lippard’s laboratory discovered and named the first metallointercalators, platinum terpyridine complexes that insert between the DNA base pairs and unwind the double helix. This work led to experiments defining how platinum drugs bind their biological targets and insights into how they manifest their anticancer activity. His laboratory determined the X-ray structure of the soluble form of methane monooxygenase (MMO), elucidated many details of its molecular mechanism, and synthesized analogues of the diiron carboxylate cores of MMO and many related carboxylate-bridged diiron proteins such as the dioxygen transporter hemerythrin. He founded the field of metalloneurochemistry, at the interface of inorganic chemistry and neuroscience, and has devised fluorescent imaging agents for studying mobile zinc and nitric oxide as neurotransmitters and as other biological signaling agents.
Honors and awards 
Lippard has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, the National Institute of Medicine, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is an honorary member of the Irish Royal Society, the Italian Chemical Society, and the German National Academy of Sciences (Leopoldina), and is an external scientific member of the Max-Planck Institute in Germany. He has received honorary Doctorate of Science degrees from Haverford College, Texas A&M University, and the University of South Carolina.
Lippard has received many awards throughout his career, most notably the 2004 National Medal of Science. He is also the recipient of the Linus Pauling Medal, Theodore W. Richards Medal, and William H. Nichols Medal. For his work in bioinorganic and biomimetic chemistry, Lippard received the Ronald Breslow Award and the Alfred Bader Award from the American Chemical Society (ACS). For research in inorganic and organometallic chemistry, as well as his role as an educator (over 100 Ph. D. students), he was honored with ACS awards for Inorganic Chemistry and for Distinguished Service in Inorganic Chemistry.
Personal life 
Lippard and his wife Judy were married in 1964 and live in Harvard Square. They have two sons, Josh and Alex, and twin granddaughters, Lucy and Ann. Lippard plays the harpsichord, jogs and is an avid fan of the Boston Red Sox.