Robert Robinson Award 2012 Winner


Professor Kendall Houk
Professor Kendall Houk
University of California, Los Angeles

Awarded for his inspirational and insightful development of the distortion/interaction theory of reactivity, pioneering studies of molecular dynamics of cycloadditions, and the innovative computational design of new enzymes.


About the Winner


K. N. Houk received A.B., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees at Harvard.  He received his Ph.D. with R. B. Woodward, doing experimental tests of orbital symmetry selection rules for cycloadditions.  He taught at Louisiana State University and the University of Pittsburgh before joining UCLA in 1986.  From 1988-1990, he was Director of the Chemistry Division of the National Science Foundation.  He was Chair of his department at UCLA and is now the Saul Winstein Chair in Organic Chemistry and Senior Editor of Accounts of Chemical Research.

Houk's international awards include the von Humboldt U.S. Senior Scientist Award, the Bruylants Chair from the University of Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium, and an honorary doctorate (Dr. rer. nat. h. c.) from the University of Essen, Germany.  He received the Schrödinger Medal of the WATOC, an Erskine Fellowship in New Zealand, a Lady Davis Fellowship at the Technion in Haifa, Israel, and a JSPS Fellowship in Japan.  The American Chemical Society has awarded him the Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award, the ACS James Flack Norris Award in Physical Organic Chemistry, the Award for Computers in Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences, the Tolman Medal of the Southern California Section, and the Arthur C. Cope Award. 

Houk is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the International Academy of Quantum Molecular Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the World Association of Theoretical and Computational Chemists, and the American Chemical Society, and he is a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

Related Links

Link icon Houk Research Group
Professor Houk's Research Group Webpage


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