Wolf Prize in Chemistry

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The Wolf Prize in Chemistry is awarded once a year by the Wolf Foundation in Israel. It is one of the six Wolf Prizes established by the Foundation and awarded since 1978; the others are in Agriculture, Mathematics, Medicine, Physics and Arts.


Year Name Nationality Citation
1978 Carl Djerassi  Austria /  United States for his work in bioorganic chemistry, application of new spectroscopic techniques, and his support of international cooperation.
1979 Herman Mark  Austria /  United States for his contributions to understanding the structure and behavior of natural and synthetic polymers.
1980 Henry Eyring  Mexico /  United States for his development of absolute rate theory and its imaginative applications to chemical and physical processes.
1981 Joseph Chatt  United Kingdom for pioneering and fundamental contributions to synthetic transition metal chemistry, particularly transition metal hydrides and dinitrogen complexes.
1982 John Charles Polanyi  Canada for his studies of chemical reactions in unprecedented detail by developing the infrared chemiluminiscence technique, and for envisaging the chemical laser.
George C. Pimentel  United States for development of matrix isolation spectroscopy and for the discovery of photodissociation lasers and chemical lasers.
1983/4 Herbert S. Gutowsky  United States for his pioneering work in the development and applications of nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy in chemistry.
Harden M. McConnell  United States for his studies of the electronic structure of molecules through paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy and for the introduction and biological applications of spin label techniques.
John S. Waugh  United States for his fundamental theoretical and experimental contributions to high resolution nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy in solids.
1984/5 Rudolph A. Marcus  Canada /  United States for his contributions to chemical kinetics, especially the theories of unimolecular reactions and electron transfer reactions.
1986 Elias James Corey  United States for outstanding research on the synthesis of many highly complex natural products and the demonstration of novel ways of thinking about such syntheses.
Albert Eschenmoser   Switzerland for outstanding research on the synthesis, stereochemistry and reaction mechanisms for formation of natural products, especially Vitamin-B12.
1987 David C. Phillips
David M. Blow
 United Kingdom
 United Kingdom
for their contributions to protein X-ray crystallography and to the elucidation of structures of enzymes and their mechanisms of action.
1988 Joshua Jortner
Raphael David Levine
for their incisive theoretical studies elucidating energy acquisition and disposal in molecular systems and mechanisms for dynamical selectivity and specificity.
1989 Duilio Arigoni
Alan R. Battersby
 United Kingdom
for their fundamental contributions to the elucidation of the mechanism of enzymic reactions and of the biosynthesis of natural products, in particular the pigments of life.
1990 No award
1991 Richard R. Ernst   Switzerland for his revolutionary contributions to NMR spectroscopy, especially Fourier-transform and two-dimensional NMR
Alexander Pines  Rhodesia /  United States for his revolutionary contributions to NMR spectroscopy, especially multiple-quantum and high-spin NMR.
1992 John Pople  United Kingdom for his outstanding contributions to theoretical chemistry, particularly in developing effective and widely used modern quantum- chemical methods.
1993 Ahmed Hassan Zewail  Egypt /  United States for pioneering the development of laser femtochemistry. Using lasers and molecular beams, femtochemistry has made it now possible to probe the evolution of chemical reactions as they actually happen in real time.
1994/5 Richard Lerner
Peter Schultz
 United States
 United States
for developing catalytic antibodies, thus permitting the catalysis of chemical reactions considered impossible to achieve by classical chemical procedures.
1995/6 Gilbert Stork
Samuel J. Danishefsky
 United States
 United States
for designing and developing novel chemical reactions which have opened new avenues to the synthesis of complex molecules, particularly polysaccharides and many other biologically and medicinally important compounds.
1996/7 No award
1998 Gerhard Ertl
Gabor A. Somorjai
 Hungary /  United States
for their outstanding contributions to the field of the surface science in general, and for their elucidation of fundamental mechanisms of heterogeneous catalytic reactions at single crystal surfaces in particular.
1999 Raymond U. Lemieux  Canada for his fundamental and seminal contributions to the study and synthesis of oligosaccharides and to the elucidation of their role in molecular recognition in biological systems.
2000 Frank Albert Cotton  United States for opening up an entirely new phase of transition metal chemistry based on pairs and clusters of metal atoms directly linked by single or multiple bonds.
2001 Henri B. Kagan
Ryōji Noyori
K. Barry Sharpless
 United States
for their pioneering, creative and crucial work in developing asymmetric catalysis for the synthesis of chiral molecules, greatly increasing mankind's ability to create new products of fundamental and practical importance.
2002/3 No award
2004 Harry B. Gray  United States for pioneering work in bio-inorganic chemistry, unravelling novel principles of structure and long-range electron transfer in proteins.
2005 Richard N. Zare  United States for his ingenious applications of laser techniques, for identifying complex mechanisms in molecules, and their use in analytical chemistry.
2006/7 Ada Yonath
George Feher
 United States
for ingenious structural discoveries of the ribosomal machinery of peptide-bond formation and the light-driven primary processes in photosynthesis.
2008 William E. Moerner
Allen J. Bard
 United States
 United States
for the ingenious creation of a new field of science, single molecule spectroscopy and electrochemistry, with impact at the nanoscopic regime, from the molecular and cellular domain to complex material systems.
2009 No award
2010 No award
2011 Stuart A. Rice
Ching W. Tang
Krzysztof Matyjaszewski
 United States;
 United States;
 Poland /  United States
for the deep creative contributions to the chemical sciences in the field of synthesis, properties and an understanding of organic materials.
2012 A. Paul Alivisatos  United States for his development of the colloidal inorganic nanocrystal as a building block of nanoscience and for making fundamental contributions to controlling the synthesis of these particles, to measuring and understanding their physical properties.[2]
Charles M. Lieber  United States for his seminal contributions to nanochemistry and particularly the synthesis of single-crystalline semiconductor nanowires, characterization of the fundamental physical properties of nanowires, and their application to electronics, photonics and nanomedicine.[3]
2013 Robert S. Langer  United States for conceiving and implementing advances in polymer chemistry that provide both controlled drug-release systems and new biomaterials.
2014 Chi-Huey Wong  Taiwan /  United States for his numerous and original contributions to the development of innovative methods for the programmable and applied synthesis of complex oligosaccharides and glycol-proteins.
2015 No award
2016 Kyriacos Costa Nicolaou  Cyprus /  United States for advancing the field of chemical synthesis to the extremes of molecular complexity, linking structure and function and expanding our dominion over the interface of chemistry, biology and medicine.
Stuart Schreiber  United States for pioneering chemical insights into the logic of signal transduction and gene regulation that led to important, new therapeutics and for advancing chemical biology and medicine through the discovery of small-molecule probes.

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