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UC San Diego Professor Wins Top Academic Prize in Theoretical Chemistry

J. Andrew McCammon
J. Andrew McCammon. Photo: UC San Diego


  • Kim McDonald

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  • Kim McDonald

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J. Andrew McCammon, a distinguished professor of chemistry, biochemistry and pharmacology at the University of California San Diego, has won this year’s most prestigious university-based prize in theoretical chemistry.

McCammon, who holds the Joseph E. Mayer Chair of Theoretical Chemistry at UC San Diego, was today named the winner of the 2016-17 Joseph O. Hirschfelder Prize in Theoretical Chemistry, awarded by the Theoretical Chemistry Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

A physical chemist who is also a fellow of the San Diego Supercomputer Center and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, McCammon is the second UC San Diego chemistry professor to receive the prestigious prize, following Peter Wolynes in 2009.

“Andy is one of the pioneers of biosimulation, and he has worked extensively in this area since the late 1970s,” said James Skinner, director of the Theoretical Chemistry Institute at UW-Madison. “His work has been cited over 43,000 times — clearly his work has had an enormous impact.”

The Hirschfelder Prize is considered by chemists to be so prestigious that its previous winners include four previous recipients of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry—Rudolph Marcus of Caltech (1992), John Pople of Northwestern University (1993), Martin Karplus of Harvard University (1994) and Roald Hoffmann of Cornell University (2000).

McCammon will visit the UW-Madison Department of Chemistry Sept. 26 to 28 to deliver three public lectures as part of the award.

A member of the chemistry faculty at UC San Diego since 1994, McCammon received his bachelor’s degree from Pomona College in 1969 and his PhD from Harvard University in 1976. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and an elected fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, American Physical Society, Biophysical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

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