2008 Arduengo Lecture: Peter J. Stang


Abiological Self-Assembly: Predesigned Metallacycles and Metallacages via Coordination
12:30 PM, Thursday, March 6th, 2008
151 Shelby Hall
(Technical Talk)

Chemical Publishing in the 21st Century: Perspectives of a JACS Editor
3:00 PM, Friday, March 7th, 2008
107 Shelby Hall
(General Interest Talk)


Professor Peter Stang, University of Utah Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, was born in Nurnberg, Germany in 1941 but spent much of his childhood in Hungary. At the age of 15, Peter moved to the US with his family and became a naturalized US citizen at the age of 20. Peter earned a B.S. in Chemistry from DePaul University in 1963 before working as an NIH Predoctoral Fellow under the direction of Professor Andrew Streitweiser at UC Berkeley. Peter earned his Ph.D. in 1966 then moved to Princeton University to serve as an NIH Postdoctoral Fellow with Professor Paul von R. Schleyer. In 1969, Peter married Christine Schirmer and accepted a faculty appointment at the University of Utah. Christine and Peter raised two daughters, Antonia and Alexandra, while Professor Stang established a world-renowned research program. From 1989-1995 Professor Stang served as Chairperson of the Department of Chemistry, and from 1997-2007, as Dean of the College of Science at the University of Utah. Peter has also been a Senior Fellow of the Loker Hydrocarbon Research Institute at the University of Southern California since 1991.

Professor Stang’s early scientific contributions included the first preparation of vinyl triflates, now an indispensable staple of organic synthesis and materials chemistry, and the first solvolytically generated vinyl cations. Professor Stang later provided seminal contributions to the field of hypervalent main group chemistry with investigations into the synthesis and reactivity of polyvalent iodine compounds. In the early 1990s, Peter redirected his research focus to supramolecular chemistry and self-assembly. His unique approaches to the field relied upon coordination and metal-ligand dative interactions to fashion metallacyclic polyhedra. Professor Stang was the first to report chiral nanoscopic assemblies, which exist as stable microcrystalline solids. Such materials could ultimately revolutionize petroleum-refining processes.

Professor Stang has received numerous awards in recognition of his profound contributions to the synthesis and investigation of hypervalent iodine species, studies on vinyl cations and unsaturated carbenes, synthesis and applications of alkynyl esters, and creative advances in molecular self-assembly and supramolecular chemistry. He is the recipient of several prestigious ACS awards including the James Flack Norris Award in Physical Organic Chemistry, the George A. Olah Award in Hydrocarbon and Petroleum Chemistry, and a 2007 ACS Award for Creative Research and Applications of Iodine Chemistry. Professor Stang is also a Linus Pauling Metal recipient, a Member of the National Academy of Sciences, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a Titular Member of the European Academy of Arts, Sciences, and Humanities.

Professor Stang possesses a singular record of professional service to science. He is serving in his sixth year as Editor of the Journal of the American Chemical Society where he formerly functioned as an Associate Editor of that distinguished publication from 1982-1999. Peter was Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Organic Chemistry during 2000-2001, and he continues to act as a longstanding member on the Editorial Advisory Board of Synthesis, Russian Chemical Bulletin, and C&E News. Professor Stang was also a Member of the Board of Directors of the American Association for the Advancement of Science from 2003-2007. Despite the demands of these illustrious appointments and several others, Professor Stang remarkably continues to add to his over 400 publications with accounts of innovative research conducted at the University of Utah in supramolecular chemistry and the chemistry of reactive intermediates.