The Pitzer Lecture in Theoretical Chemistry – Professor Michele Parrinello @ 2015 McPherson Chemical Lab
Nov 25 @ 9:10 pm

“Atomistic Computer Simulations: Past, Present and Future”

Michele Parrinello is an Italian physicist particularly known for his work in molecular dynamics (the computer simulation of physical movements of atoms and molecules). Parrinello and Roberto Car were awarded the Dirac Medal and the Sidney Fernbach Award in 2009 for their continuing development of the Car-Parrinello method, first proposed in their seminal 1985 paper “Unified Approach for Molecular Dynamics and Density-Functional Theory”.

Michele Parinello received his Laurea in physics from the University of Bologna in 1968. After working at the International School for Advanced Studies in Trieste, the IBM research lab in Zurich, and the Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research in Stuttgart, he was appointed Professor of Computational Science at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich in 2001, a position he also holds at the Università della Svizzera italiana in Lugano. In 2004 he was elected to Great Britain’s Royal Society. In 2011 he was awarded the Marcel Benoist Prize. He currently has an h-index of 108, which is one of the highest among all scientists.

Reception to be held in 2136 Newman and Wolfrom Lab following the lecture


Pitzer Lecture- Dr. Sarah Reisman, California Institute of Technology @ 125 Scott Lab
Sep 20 @ 11:30 am – 12:30 pm

2016 Pitzer Lecturer: Dr. Sarah Reisman

“Necessity is the Mother of Invention: Natural Products and the Chemistry they Inspire ”

Sarah E. Reisman conducted undergraduate studies at Connecticut College in New London, CT, where she became interested in organic synthesis working in the laboratory of Prof. Timo Ovaska. After receiving her BA in Chemistry in 2001, Sarah enrolled in graduate studies at Yale University and joined the research group of Prof. John Wood. She earned her Ph.D. in chemistry in 2006, conducting research in the area of natural product synthesis. As an NIH post-doctoral fellow, Sarah pursued studies in the field of asymmetric catalysis working with Prof. Eric Jacobsen at Harvard University. In 2008, Sarah joined the faculty at the California Institute of Technology where she is now a Professor of Chemistry. Her laboratory seeks to discover, develop, and study new chemical reactions within the context of natural product total synthesis.


September 20, 2016

Lecture: 11:30am – 12:30pm in Scott 125
Student Research: 1:30pm – 4:00pm in CBEC 267
Reception: 4:00pm – 5:00pm in CBEC Lobby
Pitzer Lecture- Dr. Emily Carter, Princeton University @ 2004 Evans Lab
Oct 17 @ 4:10 pm – 5:10 pm

2016 Pitzer Lecturer: Dr. Emily Carter

“Sustainable Energy Phenomena from First Principles: From Fuel Cells to Fusion”

Emily A. Carter is the Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science and the Gerhard R. Andlinger Professor in Energy and the Environment, as well as a Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and Applied and Computational Mathematics at Princeton University. Her current research is focused entirely on enabling discovery and design of materials for sustainable energy. She received her B.S. in Chemistry from UC Berkeley in 1982 and her Ph.D. in Chemistry from Caltech in 1987. After a year as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Colorado, Boulder, she spent the next 16 years on the faculty of UCLA as a Professor of Chemistry and later also of Materials Science and Engineering. She moved to Princeton University in 2004. The author of over 340 publications, she has delivered over 500 invited and plenary lectures all over the world and serves on numerous advisory boards spanning a wide range of disciplines. Her scholarly work has been recognized by national and international awards from a variety of entities, including the American Chemical Society, the American Vacuum Society, the American Physical Society, the Institute of Physics, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the International Academy of Quantum Molecular Science. Professor Carter was elected in 2008 to both the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences, and in 2016 to the National Academy of Engineering.


October 17, 2016

4:10 PM in 2004 Evans
Post-lecture reception to follow in CBEC Lobby
2017 Russ Pitzer Lecture – J. Andrew McCammon @ 100 Stillman Hall
Nov 13 @ 4:10 pm – 5:10 pm

Lecturer: J. Andrew McCammon, University of California, San Diego

Title: Thermodynamics of Molecular Recognition

Light reception to follow in CBEC lobby


J. Andrew McCammon is the Joseph E. Mayer Chair Professor of Theoretical Chemistry and Distinguished Professor of Pharmacology at UCSD.   He received his B.A. from Pomona College, and his Ph.D. in chemical physics from Harvard University, where he worked with John Deutch (of MIT).  In 1976-78, he developed the computer simulation approach to protein dynamics in Martin Karplus’s lab at Harvard.  He joined the University of Houston as Assistant Professor of Chemistry in 1978, and became the M.D. Anderson Chair Professor of Chemistry in 1981. He moved to UCSD in 1995.  Professor McCammon has invented theoretical methods for accurately predicting and interpreting molecular recognition, rates of reactions, and other properties of chemical systems.  In addition to their fundamental interest, these methods play a growing role in the design of new drugs and other materials.  Professor McCammon is the author with Stephen Harvey of “Dynamics of Proteins and Nucleic Acids” (Cambridge University Press), and is the author or co-author of more than 800 publications in theoretical chemistry and biochemistry. More than 80 of his graduate students and postdoctoral fellows have secured tenured or tenure-track faculty positions at leading colleges and universities.  In the 1980’s, Professor McCammon guided the establishment of the computer-aided drug discovery program of Agouron Pharmaceuticals (now Pfizer Global Research and Development, La Jolla Laboratories), and contributed to the development of the widely prescribed HIV-1 protease inhibitor, Viracept (nelfinavir).  The McCammon group’s studies of HIV-1 integrase flexibility contributed to the discovery of the first in a new class of antiviral drugs by Merck & Co., named Isentress (raltegravir) and approved by the US FDA in 2007. Professor McCammon received the first George Herbert Hitchings Award for Innovative Methods in Drug Design from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund in 1987.  In 1995, he received the Smithsonian Institution’s Information Technology Leadership Award for Breakthrough Computational Science, sponsored by Cray Research.  He is the recipient of the American Chemical Society’s 2008 National Award for Computers in Chemical and Pharmaceutical Research.  He received the Joseph O. Hirschfelder Prize in Theoretical Chemistry for 2016-17 and the Russell M. Pitzer Award in Theoretical Chemistry in 2017. Professor McCammon is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Physical Society, and the Biophysical Society.  He is a Member of the US National Academy of Sciences.