COLLEGE STATION --
A. Ian Scott, Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and of Biochemistry and Biophysics at Texas A&M University, has been selected by the President and Council of the Royal Society of London as the 2001 recipient of the Society's Davy Medal.
Scott will be presented with the medal as part of the Society's Anniversary Day, scheduled for Nov. 30, 2001, in London.
Founded in 1877 in honor of 18th Century English chemist Sir Humphrey Davy, the Davy Medal is one of 17 medals and awards administered by the Royal Society's Council in recognition of excellence in science and technology.
The award is presented in acknowledgement of "an outstandingly important recent discovery in any branch of chemistry."
"It's a thrill to see Dr. Scott add to his long list of awards with one of such distinction," said Dr. H. Joseph Newton, interim dean of the College of Science.
The Royal Society is the independent scientific academy of the United
Kingdom dedicated to promoting excellence in the natural and applied sciences. The world's oldest scientific academy in continuous existence, the Society has been at the forefront of inquiry and scientific discovery since its foundation in 1660.
A Fellow of Royal Societies of London and Edinburgh, Scott is cited by the Society for his pioneering contributions to the understanding of biosynthetic pathways and, in particular, for his work in establishing the mechanism for the synthesis of vitamin B12. Scott currently is working on the biosynthesis of taxol, an important anti-tumor agent.
"My colleagues and I are delighted to see Ian Scott recognized for his truly pioneering investigations in the realm of biosynthesis," said Dr.
Emile A. Schweikert, professor and head of the Department of Chemistry. "His work has been unique in the combination of theoretical insight with ingenious experimental work to answer fundamental questions in enzyme mechanism."
Born and educated in Glasgow, Scotland, Scott received his doctorate from Glasgow University in 1952. Scott previously occupied chairs of chemistry at the University of British Columbia, Sussex and Yale before coming to Texas A&M in 1977.
Scott has been working the mechanisms leading to vitamin B12, plant alkaloids and antibiotics, and has helped develop the area of biological nuclear magnetic resonance.
Among the many applications of Scott's work are the control of metabolism at the molecular level in cells and tissues by direct, noninvasive spectroscopy, the development of very sensitive probes of enzyme-substrate interactions and the discovery of short-lived, air-sensitive intermediates in biosynthetic pathways.
Scott has also developed the area of genetically engineered synthesis, which involves chemistry, spectroscopy and molecular biology.
"I was particularly pleased that the Davy Medal recognizes a recent discovery rather than work done in the distant past," Scott said.
Scott's work has been acknowledged with numerous awards, including the Royal Society's Bakerian Lectureship and Prize and the 1995 Tetrahedron Prize for Creativity in Organic Chemistry. In October 2000, he received a major international prize, the prestigious Robert A. Welch Award in Chemistry.
To learn more about Dr. Scott's pioneering research, visit his website at http://wwwchem.tamu.edu/faculty/scott. For more information on the Davy Medal or the Royal Society of London, see http://www.royalsoc.org.
Contact: Shana K. Hutchins, (979) 862-1237, firstname.lastname@example.org;
A. Ian Scott, (979) 845-3243, email@example.com.