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COLLEGE STATION --

Dr. A. Ian Scott, Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Texas A&M University, has been appointed to The Robert A. Welch Chair in Chemistry and as the D.H.R. Barton Professor of Chemistry, announced H. Joseph Newton, interim dean of the College of Science.

"This appointment shows once again how fortunate we are to have someone of Ian Scott's eminence on our faculty," Newton added.

A world leader in organic and natural product chemistry, Scott is renowned for his pioneering work with vitamin B12, the essential life pigments chlorophyll and heme, and metabolism control at the molecular level.

As director of Texas A&M's Center for Biological Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR), he has made a number of unparalleled discoveries that have revolutionized the practice and theory of biosynthetic investigation.

In addition, with numerous findings that are likely to shape the future development of natural product chemistry already to his credit, Scott currently is researching methods of producing taxol, an important anti-tumor agent.

"Dr. Scott's achievements in research and his ability to challenge his students and colleagues epitomize the scholar who defines a great university," said Emile A. Schweikert, professor and head of the Department of Chemistry.

Scott is the inaugural holder of a newly established Robert A. Welch Chair in Chemistry, one of 30 endowed chairs established at Texas A&M through the H.R. "Bum" Bright Chair Matching Program. University, College of Science and Department of Chemistry funds were combined with contributions to the Derek H.R. Barton Memorial and then matched by both The Robert A. Welch Foundation and the Bright Chair Program to create a permanent $3 million endowment fund in support of the chair.

"I am honored by the Welch Chair, which reflects such important support for basic research in chemistry in Texas provided by The Robert A. Welch Foundation," Scott said.

The D.H.R. Barton Professorship is named in honor of the late Sir Derek H.R. Barton, who served as a distinguished professor of chemistry at Texas A&M for 12 years before his death in 1998. In addition to being a Nobel Laureate and one of the world's leading organic chemists, Barton continues to be heralded by many, including Scott, as the epitome of a teacher and colleague.

"I first joined Derek Barton's group in London in 1954 and at once realized his enormous power as a thinker and a teacher," Scott explained. "Many years later, the chemistry faculty at Texas A&M were fortunate in having him as their colleague for 12 years until his untimely death in 1998. It is therefore a great honor for me to have been selected as the first D.H.R. Barton Professor and a daunting prospect to live up to the challenge of perpetuating both his memory and his scientific legacy to the best of my ability."

Born and educated in Glasgow, Scotland, Scott received his doctorate from Glasgow University in 1952 and previously occupied chairs of chemistry at the University of British Columbia, Sussex and Yale before coming to Texas A&M in 1977.

His work has been recognized with numerous awards, including the Royal Society of Edinburgh's Queen's Royal Medal, the Royal Society of London's Davy Medal and Bakerian Lectureship, the Royal Society of Chemistry's Corday-Morgan and Natural Products Awards, the Tetrahedron Prize for Creativity in Organic Chemistry and the Robert A. Welch Award in Chemistry. In addition, he has received honorary degrees from the University of Pierre et Marie Curie in Paris and the Universidade de Coimbra in Portugal.

Contact: Shana K. Hutchins, (979) 862-1237, via e-mail shutchins@tamu.edu, or Dr. A. Ian Scott, (979) 845-3243, via e-mail scott@mail.chem.tamu.edu.

Hutchins Shana

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