Annual Probst Lecture continues tradition, brings in international award-winning scientist

Dr. Erick M. Carreira will speak on campus as featured scientist for the 38th annual Probst Lecture Series. Photo courtesy of Luesse.

The 38th annual Probst Lecture Series will feature chemist Dr. Erick M. Carreira at the Meridian Ballroom 7 p.m. on Monday, March 24.

Carreira conducts research and is a professor of organic chemistry at the ETH Zürich.

Chemistry professor Sarah Luesse said Carreira is a “highly accomplished scientist and chemist” in the areas of asymmetric synthesis, reaction development and medicinal chemistry.

“His work is very important in the field of catalytic method development– designing new organic chemistry reactions… research that can be applied to medicine through the design of biologically active molecules,” Luesse said.

He has authored more than 230 publications and 30 patents. He has received numerous awards including the European Research Commission Award, the American Chemical Society (ACS) Award for Creative Work in Synthetic Organic Chemistry and the ACS Award in Pure Chemistry.

The goal of the Probst lecture, according to Luesse, is to bring in a notable scientist who will give a public lecture related to his or her area of expertise. His evening lecture, “Surprises and Discoveries with Human-Derived Natural Products and Their Relevance to Human Medicine,” is aimed at a general audience.

“You don’t have to be a scientist to attend this lecture. The goal is to find out how science is relevant to everyone’s life in society,” Luesse said.

Luesse said she is looking forward to having Carreira speak.

“He is an example of someone who grew up in Illinois and who has had a remarkable career,” Luesse said.

Carreira will give a technical talk, “Recent Advances in Catalytic Asymmetric Synthesis,” on Monday, March 24, at 11 a.m. in Science Building East, Room 3114.

Carreira earned a B.S. degree in 1984 from the University of Illinois at Urbana­-Champaign, a Ph.D. degree in 1990 from Harvard University and completed postdoctoral work at the California Institute of Technology (CIT) in 1992. He joined the faculty at CIT as assistant professor and was promoted to the rank of associate (1996) then full professor (1997). Since 1998, Carreira has been professor of chemistry at the ETH Zürich within the Institute of Organic Chemistry.

As part of the Probst Lectures Series day’s activities, chemistry students at 3 p.m. will have an opportunity to present their individual research through poster presentations at the Thomas D. Bouman Student Research Symposium. Two undergraduate and two graduate students will be chosen as Bouman scholars, presented with certificates and awarded $1,000 each. The awards are through the Bouman Memorial Research Scholarship Fund, in memory and honor of Thomas D. Bouman, professor of physical chemistry at SIUE from 1965-1992.


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