Gift helps center train graduate students in organic chemistry

06 SEPTEMBER 00 | A College of Chemistry research center will use a $1 million gift to advance research and graduate training in synthetic organic chemistry.

The gift establishes Bristol-Myers Squibb as the first sponsoring member of the Center for New Directions in Organic Chemistry. Formed last year, the center provides graduate training and research through collaborations among research groups, academe and industry, according to its director, Paul Bartlett.

Organic synthesis is critical to a broad range of industries in the areas of health and technology, especially those engaged in pharmaceutical discovery and biotechnology, and in the development of new materials.

The growth of the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries has increased the need for scientists skilled in synthesis. Advances in areas like combinatorial chemistry and biological catalysis require more sophisticated training at the graduate level.

"There is motivation in both industry and academe to find new approaches to support organic synthesis, to augment traditional funding mechanisms and continue to make the field attractive to new students and faculty members," Bartlett said.

"We are very excited by this opportunity to further strengthen our relationship with Berkeley, and we look forward to collaboratively addressing the issues associated with supporting and maintaining high quality research in organic chemistry," said Peter Ringrose, president of Bristol-Myers Squibb's Pharmaceutical Research Institute. "The grant reflects the company's continuing support of exemplary academic research in synthetic organic chemistry, as well as the ongoing training of new scientists."

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