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Stephen Lippard named Franklin Institute Laureate

Award recognizes pioneering research on metal atoms in biology and medicine.
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Stephen Lippard
Stephen Lippard
Photo: Dominick Reuter

Professor Stephen J. Lippard, the Arthur Amos Noyes Professor of Chemistry, has been selected to receive the 2015 Benjamin Franklin Medal in Chemistry for his pioneering research and wide-ranging contributions to the field of bioinorganic chemistry, including protein structure determination, active site characterization, and mechanistic studies by a wide range of physical methods, and the syntheses of biomimetic model compounds. Specifically cited are his research on the role of metal atoms in biology and medicine, namely, studies of platinum anticancer drugs and of the structure and function of an enzyme that allows microbes to live on natural gas.

Lippard will join a list of remarkable men and women who have significantly improved our world with their pioneering discoveries and innovations.

Reflecting the spirit of discovery embodied by Benjamin Franklin, the awards have publically recognized and encouraged preeminent accomplishments in science and technology on an international level since the Institute was founded in 1824. Past laureates who have come to Philadelphia to receive their medals include Thomas Edison, Marie Curie, Stephen Hawking, Jacques Cousteau, and — more recently — Jane Goodall and Bill Gates. Many former laureates have gone on to receive the Nobel Prize, including the 2014 Nobel Prize-winner in physics, Shuji Nakamura, who joins 115 distinguished fellow Franklin Institute laureates who have been awarded a total of 118 Nobel Prizes.

The Franklin Institute Awards ceremony is the culmination of a weeklong series of events and programs designed to shine an important spotlight on advancements in science and technology, as well as extraordinary business leadership. In addition to an array of lectures and symposia throughout the week, educational programs for area high school students and public demonstrations are designed to provide direct and unprecedented access to the laureates.

“Recognizing global breakthroughs in science and technology, and outstanding business leadership is instrumental in inspiring the next generation of great scientists and engineers,” explains Larry Dubinski, president and CEO of The Franklin Institute. “These are some of the greatest minds and most influential pioneers of our time who come to Philadelphia to receive this honor and inspire us all. They are the Franklins of today, and through their remarkable contributions, there is no question that they will inspire the Franklins of tomorrow.”

Founded in honor of America’s first scientist, Benjamin Franklin, the Franklin Institute is one of America’s oldest and premier centers of science education and development in the country. Today, the Institute continues its dedication to public education and creating a passion for science by offering new and exciting access to science and technology in ways that would dazzle and delight its namesake. Recognizing outstanding achievements in science throughout the world is one important way that the Institute honors its commitment to Benjamin Franklin’s legacy.

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