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Henry Rzepa

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Henry Rzepa
Henry Stephen Rzepa

June 1950 (age 74)[3]
Alma materImperial College London (PhD)
AwardsHerman Skolnik Award (2012)[1]
Scientific career
ThesisHydrogen Transfer Reactions of Indoles (1974)

Henry Stephen Rzepa (born 1950)[3] is a chemist and Emeritus Professor of Computational Chemistry at Imperial College London.[4][5][6]


Rzepa was born in 1950 and was educated at Wandsworth Comprehensive School in London. He then entered the chemistry department at Imperial College London where he graduated in 1971. He stayed to do a Ph.D. on the physical organic chemistry of indoles supervised by Brian Challis.[7][8]

Career and research[edit]

After spending three years doing postdoctoral research at the University of Texas at Austin, Texas with Michael Dewar[9] in the then emerging field of computational chemistry, he returned to Imperial College and was eventually appointed as Professor of the college in 2003. As of 2017 he is Emeritus Professor of Computational Chemistry.[10][11]

His research interests[2] directed towards combining different types of chemical information tools for solving structural, mechanistic and stereochemical problems in organic, bioorganic, organometallic chemistry and catalysis, using techniques such as semiempirical molecular orbital methods (the MNDO family), Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, X-ray crystallography and ab initio quantum theories. Aware of the complex semantic issues involved in converging different areas of chemistry to address modern multidisciplinary problems, he started investigating the use of the Internet as an information and integrating medium around 1987, focusing in 1994 on the World Wide Web as having the most potential.[12] Peter Murray-Rust and he first introduced Chemical Markup Language (CML) in 1995 as a rich carrier of semantic chemical information and data; and they coined the term Datument as a portmanteau word to better express the evolution from the documents produced by traditional academic publishing methods to the Semantic Web ideals expressed by Tim Berners-Lee.[13][14][15]

His contributions to chemistry[16][17][18][19][20][21][22] include exploration of Möbius aromaticity, highlighted by the theoretical discovery of relatively stable forms of cyclic conjugated molecules which exhibit two and higher half-twists in the topology rather than just the single twist associated with Mobius systems (and hence possibly better termed Johann Benedict Listing rings). He is responsible for unraveling the mechanistic origins of stereocontrol in a variety of catalytic polymerisation reactions, including that of lactide to polylactide, a new generation of bio-sustainable polymer not dependent on oil. He is also known for the integration of chemistry (in the form of CML) with emergent Internet technologies and trends such as RSS and podcasting, for the introduction of the Chemical MIME types in 1994, and for organizing the ECTOC online conferences in organic chemistry, which ran from 1995-1998.[23]

Awards and honours[edit]

Rzepa was awarded the Herman Skolnik Award in 2012 by the American Chemical Society.[1]


  1. ^ a b Anon (2011). "CCL Archives". ccl.net.
  2. ^ a b Henry Rzepa publications indexed by Google Scholar Edit this at Wikidata
  3. ^ a b Anon (2017). "Henry Stephen RZEPA, June 1950". companieshouse.gov.uk. London: Companies House. Archived from the original on 25 April 2017.
  4. ^ "A Royal Society of Chemistry interview with Henry Rzepa". Archived from the original on 19 October 2012.
  5. ^ Allan, C. S. M.; Rzepa, H. S. (2008). "A computational investigation of the structure of polythiocyanogen". Dalton Transactions (48): 6925–6932. doi:10.1039/b810147g. PMID 19050778.
  6. ^ Rzepa, H. S. (2009). "Wormholes in chemical space connecting torus knot and torus link π-electron density topologies". Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics. 11 (9): 1340–1345. Bibcode:2009PCCP...11.1340R. doi:10.1039/b810301a. PMID 19224034.
  7. ^ Rzepa, Henry Stephen (1974). Hydrogen transfer reactions of indoles. ethos.bl.uk (PhD thesis). University of London. doi:10.5281/zenodo.18777. hdl:10044/1/20860. OCLC 930651784.
  8. ^ Challis, Brian C.; Rzepa, Henry S. (1975). "Heteroaromatic hydrogen exchange reactions. Part VIII. The ionisation of 1,3-dimethylindolin-2-one" (PDF). Journal of the Chemical Society, Perkin Transactions 2 (15): 1822. doi:10.1039/p29750001822. hdl:10044/1/21275. ISSN 0300-9580.
  9. ^ Dewar, M. J. S.; Mckee, M. L.; Rzepa, H. S. (1978). "ChemInform Abstract: MNDO Parameters for third period elements". Chemischer Informationsdienst. 9 (34). doi:10.1002/chin.197834001. ISSN 0009-2975.
  10. ^ "Information on conference speakers". ukoln.ac.uk.
  11. ^ "Rzepa Biography". rzepa.net.
  12. ^ Rzepa, Henry S.; Whitaker, Benjamin J.; Winter, Mark J. (1994). "Chemical applications of the World-Wide-Web system". Journal of the Chemical Society, Chemical Communications (17): 1907. doi:10.1039/c39940001907. ISSN 0022-4936. S2CID 95897719.
  13. ^ ACS Publications News
  14. ^ Professor Henry Rzepa discusses the launch of Imperial College London's iTunes U on YouTube, Imperial College London
  15. ^ Chemical Science and Data Repository Design with Prof. Henry Rzepa on YouTube, Science & Engineering South
  16. ^ O'Boyle, N. M.; Guha, R.; Willighagen, E. L.; Adams, S. E.; Alvarsson, J.; Bradley, J. C.; Filippov, I. V.; Hanson, R. M.; Hanwell, M. D.; Hutchison, G. R.; James, C. A.; Jeliazkova, N.; Lang, A. S. D.; Langner, K. M.; Lonie, D. C.; Lowe, D. M.; Pansanel, J. R. M.; Pavlov, D.; Spjuth, O.; Steinbeck, C.; Tenderholt, A. L.; Theisen, K. J.; Murray-Rust, P. (2011). "Open Data, Open Source and Open Standards in chemistry: The Blue Obelisk five years on". Journal of Cheminformatics. 3 (1): 37. doi:10.1186/1758-2946-3-37. PMC 3205042. PMID 21999342.
  17. ^ Guha, R.; Howard, M. T.; Hutchison, G. R.; Murray-Rust, P.; Rzepa, H.; Steinbeck, C.; Wegner, J.; Willighagen, E. L. (2006). "The Blue Obelisk - Interoperability in Chemical Informatics". Journal of Chemical Information and Modeling. 46 (3): 991–998. doi:10.1021/ci050400b. PMC 4878861. PMID 16711717.
  18. ^ Rzepa, H. S. (2005). "A Double-Twist Möbius-Aromatic Conformation of [14]Annulene". Organic Letters. 7 (21): 4637–4639. doi:10.1021/ol0518333. PMID 16209498.
  19. ^ Fowler, P. W.; Rzepa, H. S. (2006). "Aromaticity rules for cycles with arbitrary numbers of half-twists". Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics. 8 (15): 1775–7. Bibcode:2006PCCP....8.1775F. doi:10.1039/b601655c. PMID 16633661.
  20. ^ Marshall, E. L.; Gibson, V. C.; Rzepa, H. S. (2005). "A computational analysis of the ring-opening polymerization of rac-lactide initiated by single-site beta-diketiminate metal complexes: Defining the mechanistic pathway and the origin of stereocontrol". Journal of the American Chemical Society. 127 (16): 6048–51. doi:10.1021/ja043819b. PMID 15839705.
  21. ^ Murray-Rust, P; Rzepa, H. S.; Williamson, M. J.; Willighagen, E. L. (2004). "Chemical markup, XML, and the World Wide Web. 5. Applications of chemical metadata in RSS aggregators". Journal of Chemical Information and Modeling. 44 (2): 462–9. CiteSeerX doi:10.1021/ci034244p. PMID 15032525.
  22. ^ H. S. Rzepa and M. E. Cass (May–June 2006). Progress towards a Holistic Web: Integrating OpenSource programs, Semantic data, Wikis and Podcasts. Spring ConfChem.
  23. ^ Rzepa, Henry S. (13 March 1998). "Electronic Conferences on Trends in Organic Chemistry". www.ch.ic.ac.uk. Retrieved 15 January 2024.