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Chemistry professor Michael P. Doyle wins premier award for precious metals research

Chemistry professor Michael P. Doyle wins premier award for precious metals research

Nov. 27, 2019 — Michael P. Doyle, a professor at UTSA and the Rita and John Feik Distinguished University Chair in Medicinal Chemistry, has been awarded the 2020 International Precious Metals Institute’s Henry J. Albert Award for his pioneering work with rhodium catalyst reactions.

The award recognizes and encourages outstanding theoretical and experimental contributions to the science and technology of precious metals. Past recipients include Harvard professor Cynthia Friend, Caltech’s Robert H. Grubbs and David W.C. MacMillan of Princeton.

Doyle is an international leader in the development of catalysts and processes for metal carbene transformations. He is the inventor of patents for the composition of dirhodium(II) catalysts and their applications for asymmetric syntheses of organic compounds as well as for aziridination, oxidation and silylcarbonylation transformations catalyzed by dirhodium compounds.

“Doyle is one of the reasons that our department is ranked first in the U.S. and 18th globally among young universities by Nature Index.”

WALDEMAR GORSKI, Chair of UTSA’s Department of Chemistry

Since the early 1980s the development of these technologies has supported more than 30 Ph.D.-level chemical scientists, 10 graduate students and over 50 undergraduate students in Doyle’s laboratories.

“This international award has much meaning for me because it honors the dedicated efforts of so many talented students from many different parts of the world who invested in our development and applications of dirhodium(II) catalysts,” Doyle said. “Although more expensive than platinum, they are used in very small amounts and their advantages are still being uncovered.”

Doyle’s catalysts are sold internationally by chemical suppliers and used to prepare potential drug candidates. Pharmaceutical and specialty chemical companies also apply his catalysts to synthetic targets.

Learn more about the Henry J. Albert Award.
Explore UTSA’s Department of Chemistry.

In total, Doyle holds six U.S. patents and five foreign patents. He has published more than 380 peer-reviewed articles, 25 book chapters, and 11 books. Doyle is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Chemical Society and the Royal Society of Chemistry.

“Dr. Doyle is a giant among organic chemists with a long list of original scientific contributions,” says Waldemar Gorski, chair of UTSA’s Department of Chemistry. “His publications have been cited about 30,000 times by other researchers. It is not a surprise that he joined Nobel Prize laureate Grubbs and member of National Academy of Sciences MacMillan in winning this award. Dr. Doyle is one of the reasons that our department is ranked first in the U.S. and 18th globally among young universities by Nature Index.”

Lauren Moriarty

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