Chemical Heritage Foundation to Present 2007 Othmer Gold Medal to Thomas Cech

Nobel laureate, leader, innovator, revered teacher, and mentor to be honored at a full-day ceremony marking CHF's 25th Anniversary and the 10th annual presentation of the Othmer Gold Medal

Feb 07, 2007, 00:00 ET from Chemical Heritage Foundation

    PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- The Chemical Heritage Foundation (CHF) has announced that Thomas Cech, Nobel laureate in Chemistry (1989) and president of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), has been selected to receive the 2007 Othmer Gold Medal. The award ceremony and the annual Othmer Gold Medal Luncheon will form the centerpiece of the sixth annual Heritage Day on Thursday, 17 May 2007. This full day of awards and honors will also mark the 25th Anniversary of CHF and the 10th annual presentation of the Othmer Gold Medal.     "Born, raised, and educated in America's heartland, Thomas Cech discovered that RNA can catalyze cellular reactions," said Arnold Thackray, president of CHF. "His work opened new vistas in biotechnology, leading to new research in fighting disease and possible explanations of the origin of life through self- catalyzing RNA reactions."     Cech is a distinguished professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Colorado at Boulder, and leader of the Cech Research Group. Science education has been at the top of Cech's priorities throughout his career. After winning the Nobel Prize, he continued to teach undergraduate general chemistry in addition to directing the research of graduate students. Appointed president of HHMI in 2000, Cech continues to direct research in his Colorado lab. He has served on a number of outside review panels for organizations such as the Packard Foundation, the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, the Salk Institute, and the Whitehead Institute at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.     About the Othmer Gold Medal     The Chemical Heritage Foundation (CHF) established the Othmer Gold Medal in 1997 to honor outstanding individuals who have made multifaceted contributions to our chemical and scientific heritage through outstanding activity in such areas as innovation, entrepreneurship, research, education, public understanding, legislation, or philanthropy. Previous honorees are John D. Baldeschwieler, Arnold O. Beckman, Carl Djerassi, Mary Lowe Good, George S. Hammond, Jon M. Huntsman, Ralph Landau, Robert S. Langer, Gordon E. Moore, P. Roy Vagelos, James D. Watson, and Ronald C.D. Breslow.     The medal is presented annually and cosponsored by CHF and four affiliated organizations: the American Chemical Society (ACS), the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), the Chemists' Club, and the Societe de Chimie Industrielle (American Section). The medal commemorates Donald Othmer (1904- 1995), noted researcher, consultant, editor, engineer, inventor, philanthropist, professor, and coeditor of the Kirk-Othmer Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology.     About the Chemical Heritage Foundation     The Chemical Heritage Foundation serves the community of the chemical and molecular sciences, and the wider public, by treasuring the past, educating the present, and inspiring the future. CHF carries out a program of outreach and interpretation in order to advance an understanding of the role of the chemical and molecular sciences, technologies, and industries in shaping society; maintains a world-class collection of materials that document the history and heritage of the chemical and molecular sciences, technologies, and industries; and encourages research in its collections.     Contact:  Neil Gussman               Public Affairs               215-873-8262               717-314-2494       

SOURCE Chemical Heritage Foundation