Two University of Pennsylvania Chemists Named American Chemical Society Fellows

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Media Contact:Jordan Reese | | 215-573-6604 August 3, 2010

PHILADELPHIA — Marsha I. Lester and Gary Molander of the University of Pennsylvania have been named 2010 fellows of The American Chemical Society, an honor bestowed on 192 scientists who have demonstrated outstanding accomplishments in chemistry and made important contributions to ACS, the world’s largest scientific society.

Marsha I. Lester is the Edmund J. Kahn Distinguished Professor at Penn and a physical chemist whose research combines theoretical approaches with new experimental techniques.  She is editor of the Journal of Chemical Physics, and her laboratory’s most recent work obtained the first high-resolution spectrum of peroxynitrous acid, a key intermediate in atmospheric chemistry.

Gary A. Molander is the Hirschmann-Makineni Professor of Chemistry and an organic chemist whose research involves the development of new synthetic methods and their application to the synthesis of organic molecules. Within this context, new ways to form carbon-carbon bonds selectively are being explored utilizing novel reagents as well as organometallic catalysts.

“Whether it’s making new materials, finding cures for disease or developing energy alternatives, these Fellows are scientific leaders, improving our lives through the transforming power of chemistry,” ACS President Joseph S. Francisco said.  “They are also consummate volunteers who contribute tirelessly to the community and the profession.”

The Fellows program began in 2009 to recognize and honor ACS members for achievements in and contributions to science, the profession and the Society.  This year’s group, like the first 163 Fellows named in 2009, represents academe, industry and government.

The 2010 Fellows will be recognized on Aug. 23 during the Society’s national meeting in Boston.

Additional information about the program is available at