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03/29/1996 08:00:00

Chemist Wins 1996 Grand Prize from la Maison de la Chimie

PASADENA—Caltech chemist Peter B. Dervan is a corecipient of the 1996 Grand Prix from the Fondation de la Maison de la Chimie, a French scientific society.

The prize is given each year to reward original work in chemistry that benefits humanity, life, society, or nature. Dervan shares the 1996 prize, which brings with it 150,000 French francs (about $30,000), with Professor Claude Hèléne of France's National Museum of Natural History.

Dervan, the Bren Professor of Chemistry at Caltech and chair of the Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, has influenced the course of research in organic chemistry through his studies at the interface of chemistry and biology. His research is directed toward understanding the chemical principles involved in sequence-specific recognition of double helical DNA.

Dervan, a native of Boston, earned his BS from Boston College in 1967, and his PhD from Yale University in 1972. He was a postdoctoral fellow for a year at Stanford, then joined the Caltech faculty in 1973. He belongs to the National Academy of Sciences and has received several scientific awards, including the Harrison-Howe Award in 1988, the Arthur C. Cope Award and the Willard Gibbs Medal in 1993, and the Nichols Medal in 1994.

Contact: Jay Aller (818) 395-3631 aller@caltech.edu

Written by John Avery