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University of Wisconsin--Madison. ; Dept. of Chemistry / Badger chemist : a newsletter from the Department of Chemistry--University of Wisconsin--Madison
Newsletter 23 (October 1976)

Taylor wins Lapeyre award,   p. 19

Page 19

The University of Wisconsin
conferred an honorary doctor of
science degree on Har Gobind Kho-
rana at the May 1976 Commence-
ment. Now at MIT, Khorana was
professor of biochemistry at the
UW from 1960 to 1970, and a co-
director of the Institute of Enzyme
Research. In 1964 he became the
first Conrad A. Elvehjem Profes-
sor in Life Sciences. He is widely
known for his work on polynucleo-
tides and on the nature of the
genetic code. These studies led to
his selection in 1968 for the Nobel
Prize in Medicine which he shared
with Marshall Nirenberg of the
National Heart Institute and Rob-
ert Holley of Cornell. During his
last years at Wisconsin he and his
co-workers were successful in the
synthesis of a gene from nucleo-
tides to obtain a complete double-
stranded DNA     molecule of 77
units. He has since that time syn-
thesized more complex genes.
Born in Raipur, India, in 1922,
Khorana received his BS '43, and
MS '45 from Punjab University.
His PhD was taken at the Univer-
sity of Liverpool in 1948. He was
head of the organic chemistry
group in the British Columbia Re-
search Council (1952-60), and Vis-
iting Professor at the Rockefeller
Institute (1958) before coming to
Wisconsin. He became a member
of the National Academy of Sci-
ences in 1966 and has had many
honors, including the Willard
Gibbs Medal of Chicago's ACS
Section. His present post at MIT
is the Alfred P. Sloan Professor-
ship of Biology and Chemistry, a
full-time research position where
he works with a team of postdoc-
toral associates.
* * *
Other honorary degrees granted
in May included: Emily Hahn, who
received the first engineering de-
gree granted to a woman at the
UW and became well-known for
her books on China; and Guil-
lermo Soberon, PhD physiological
chem '58, who is now Rector of the
National University of Mexico.
At the Ninth
Annual Syn-
chrotron Radia-
tion Users Meet-
ing held on Oc-
tober 25th at
Center, Profes-
sor James W.
Taylor was pre-
sented+ .,itih the
coveted G. J. Lapeyre Memorial
Award for 1976. This award has
the subtitle of "per Ardua ad
Bremsstrahlung." Professor Tay-
lor was specifically cited for his
contribution to synchrotron radia-
tion research through his efforts
with the National Academy of Sci-
ences panel, which prepared a re-
port on the national need for
radiation facilities, and his efforts
at advancing the case for VUV
research in the midwest.
Professor Taylor joined the ana-
lytical division staff in June 1966
coming from his position with the
Mobil Chemical Company in Beau-
mont, Texas where he worked
briefly as a development chemist.
Prior to that, he had been assistant
professor of chemistry at Tulane
University. He was a native of
Newton, Mississippi, received his
BA at Vanderbilt, his MS at
Georgia Tech and his PhD in 1964
at Illinois. His research interests
are in the field of mass spectrome-
try, isotope kinetics, and reaction
try. In 1950-51 he spent a year
at the Argonne Laboratory and at
Colorado was Director of Isotopes
Laboratory from 1952 until his re-
tirement. Dr. Keller is survived by
his wife and three children.
* * *
The death of S. Morris Kupchan
was reported in mid-October, 1976
by Glenn Sonnedecker of the UW
School of Pharmacy. The cause
was lung cancer. Dr. Kupchan was
born and educated in New York
City where he received his BS at
City College in '41 and his MS and
PhD from Columbia University,
the latter degree in 1945. He served
as a staff member at Columbia
and Harvard during the next seven
years. In 1955 he joined the or-
ganic group in the UW Chemistry
Department as Lecturer. He joined
the Pharmaceutical Chemistry De-
partment in 1957, where he carried
on a vigorous research program
on natural products at Wisconsin
until joining the University of
Virginia faculty in 1969. Dr. Kup-
chan and his coworkers concen-
trated their activities on the isola-
tion, identification and testing of
naturally occurring plant alkaloids
and terpenoids. A number of these
compounds were found to have
tumor inhibitory and antileukemic
activities. He was recipient of the
Ernest Guether Award in the
Chemistry of Essential Oils in
1975. The award is sponsored by
Fritzsche-Dodge and Olcott and
was given to recognize Dr. Kup-
chan's work on tumor inhibitory
characteristics of various naturally
occurring alkaloids.
Just before printing this issue
we have had notice of deaths of
two former UW faculty members.
Raymond Nevoy Keller died in
Boulder, Colorado on September
21, 1976 according to a note from
Prof. Edward King. Ray will be
remembered by some as an in-
structor in the inorganic division
from 1940 to 1942 when he took a
similar position at Michigan. He
was at Michigan until 1951 when
he joined the faculty at University
of Colorado. He had had open
heart surgery in July 1972 and
had not been well thereafter. Pro-
fessor Keller received his BA at
Indiana U in '37 and took his PhD
at Illinois in '40. His research in-
terests were in the field of coordi-
nation chemistry and radiochemis-
October 1 976
Page 1 9

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