Myron L. Bender
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Myron Lee Bender (1924–1988) was born in St. Louis, Missouri. He obtained his B.S. (1944) and his Ph.D. (1948) from Purdue University. The latter was under the direction of Henry B. Hass. After postdoctoral research under Paul D. Barlett (Harvard University), and Frank H. Westheimer (University of Chicago), he spent one year as a faculty member at the University of Connecticut. Thereafter, he was a professor of Chemistry at Illinois Institute of Technology in 1951, and then at Northwestern University in 1960. He worked primarily in the study of reaction mechanisms and the biochemistry of enzyme action. Myron L. Bender demonstrated the two-step mechanism of catalysis for serine proteases, nucleophilic catalysis in ester hydrolysis and intramolecular catalysis in water. He also showed that cyclodextrin can be used to investigate catalysis of organic reactions within the scope of host-guest chemistry. Finally, he and others reported on the synthesis of an organic compound as a model of an acylchymotrypsin intermediate.
During his career, Myron L. Bender was an active member of the Chicago Section of the American Chemical Society. He was elected a Fellow of Merton College, Oxford University, and to the National Academy of Sciences, the latter in 1968. He received an honorary degree from Purdue University in 1969. He was the recipient of the Midwest Award of the American Chemical Society in 1972.
Professor Bender retired from Northwestern in 1988. Both he and his wife, Muriel S. Bender, died that year. The Myron L. Bender & Muriel S. Bender Distinguished Summer Lectures in Organic Chemistry was established in their honor in 1989 and continues to be hosted by Department of Chemistry at Northwestern University.
Bender Distinguished Summer Lecturers
|Lecturer||--- Year ---||Affiliation|
|Frederick M. Menger||1989||Emory University|
|Julius K. Rebek||1990||Massachusetts Institute of Technology|
|Martin Newscomb||1991||Texas A&M University|
|JoAnne Stubbe||1992||Massachusetts Institute of Technology|
|Peter B. Dervan||1993||California Institute of Technology|
|Marye Anne Fox and James K. Whitesell||1994||University of Texas|
|Richard Lerner||1995||Scripps Research Institute|
|Jan W. Verhoeven||1996||The University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands|
|Eric N. Jacobsen||1997||Harvard University|
|Larry E. Overman||1998||University of California, Irvine|
|Ronald Breslow||1999||Columbia University|
|Jean Fréchet||2000||University of California, Berkeley|
|Dale Boger||2001||Scripps Research Institute|
|Andrew Hamilton||2002||Yale University|
|Barbara Imperiali||2003||Massachusetts Institute of Technology|
|François Diederich||2004||Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich)|
|Erick M. Carreira||2005||Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich)|
|Klaus Müllen||2006||Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research|
|Ben L. Feringa||2007||University of Groningen, The Netherlands|
|Christopher Walsh||2008||Harvard Medical School|
|Stephen L. Buchwald||2009||Massachusetts Institute of Technology|
|Paul Wender||2010||Stanford University|
|Kendall N. Houk||2011||University of California, Los Angeles|
|Tom Muir||2012||Princeton University|
Myron L. Bender published five books and over 230 research papers over his lifetime. He published at least 32 peer-reviewed papers while at Northwestern. Some of the most highly cited are:
- Dsouza, VT; Bender, ML. 1987. Miniature Organic-Models Of Enzymes. Accounts of Chemical Research 20 (4): 146-152.
- Komiyama, M; Bender, ML. 1978. Thermodynamic Studies Of Cyclodextrin-Accelerated Cleavage Of Phenyl Esters. Journal of the American Chemical Society 100 (14): 4576-4579.
- Komiyama, M; Bender, ML. 1978. Importance Of Apolar Binding In Complex-Formation Of Cyclodextrins With Adamantanecarboxylate. Journal of the American Chemical Society 100 (7): 2259-2260.
- Kitaura, Y; Bender, ML. 1975. Ester Hydrolyses Catalyzed By Modified Cyclodextrins. Bioorganic Chemistry 4 (3): 237-249.
- Iwakura, Y; Uno, K; Toda, F; Onozuka, S; Hattori, K; Bender, ML. 1975. Stereochemically Correct Catalytic Site On Cyclodextrin Resulting In A Better Enzyme Model. Journal of the American Chemical Society 97 (15): 4432-4434.
Northwestern University Department of Chemistry Brochure for the Myron L. Bender & Muriel S. Bender Distinguished Summer Lectures in Organic Chemistry, 2009.
Frank H. Westheimer, Myron L. Bender, in Biographical Memoirs, the National Academy of Sciences (includes photograph of Prof. Bender, last accessed November 28, 2009, http://www.nap.edu/readingroom.php?book=biomems&page=mbender.html)