Professor Percec

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Virgil Percec received his B.S. in organic and macromolecular chemistry from the Polytechnic Institute in Iasi and his PhD in macromolecular chemistry from “P. Poni” Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry, Iasi, Romania. He defected his native country in the summer of 1981 and after short postdoctoral stays at the Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry, Hermann Staudinger Hause of the University of Freiburg, Germany (July and August, 1981) and the Institute of Polymer Science of the University of Akron, USA (September, 1981 to March, 1982) he joined the Department of Macromolecular Science of Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, USA in March, 1982 as an Assistant Professor. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 1984, to Full Professor in 1986 and to Leonard Case Jr. Chair in 1993. In 1999 he joined the Department of Chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia as the inaugural P. Roy Vagelos Chair and Professor of Chemistry where he is leading a research group of undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral students performing fundamental studies at the interface between organic, catalysis, supramolecular, macromolecular chemistry, liquid crystals, nanoscience and biology where he contributed over 700 refereed publications, 80 patents, 18 books and Special Issues and over 1140 Endowed, Plenary and Invited Lectures.

He is best known for his pioneering work on stereoisomers of substituted polyacetylenes, the transplant of phase transfer catalysis from organic to polymer chemistry, intramolecular and intermolecular charge transfer complexes, the discovery of molecular and macromolecular and supramolecular liquid crystals with complex architecture, the discovery and development of the field of Nickel-catalyzed borylation and Suzuki cross-coupling, the discovery of SET-LRP, the discovery and development of supramolecular dendrimer chemistry, and the development of complex functional systems by using Nature as a model and Biological principles. He has been editor of the Journal of Polymer Science: Part A: Polymer Chemistry for 18 years, editor of the Book Series Liquid Crystals for 8 years and is Editor of Advances in Polymer Science since 2014. Percec serves on the Editorial and Advisory Boards of 22 International Journals, on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Australian Institute for Bioengineering & Nanoscience of the University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia, Symyx and Henkel Companies, Molecular Foundry and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory both at University of California, Berkeley.

His list of awards includes Guest Professor of the National Science Council, Taiwan (1991), Honorary Foreign Member to the Romanian Academy (1993), Humboldt Award for Senior US Scientists (1997), the National Science Foundation Research Award for Creativity in Research (1990, 1995, 2000), Honorary Citizen of Siret (1999), Fellow of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) (2001), PTN Polymer Award from the Netherlands (2002), Fellow of Polymeric Materials Science and Engineering (PMSE) Division of the American Chemical Society (2003), Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2004), the American Chemical Society (ACS) Award in Polymer Chemistry (2004), the Staudinger Medal from ETH, Zurich (2005), Doctor Honoris Causa from Polytechnic University, Jassy (2007) and University of Athens, Greece (2007), the International Award and Medal of the Society of Polymer Science, Japan (2007), the H.F. Mark Medal and Award from the Austrian Institute for Science and Technology, Vienna, Austria (2008), the Lecturer of the Swiss Chemical Society (2008), the Honorary Member of the Israel Chemical Society (2009), the Humboldt Award for Senior US Scientists (2011), the Inaugural American Chemical Society Award and Lecture Kavli Foundation Innovation in Chemistry (2011), the Honorary Professor of the Australian Institute for Bioengineering & Nanoscience, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia (2012), the Foreign Member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences IVA (2013), the Honorary Member of the Romanian Chemical Society and the “Petru Poni” Medal of the Romanian Chemical Society (both in 2014), listed as “One of the World’s Most Influential Minds of Our Time” by Thomson Reuters (2014), The Inaugural ACS in Collaboration with the Romanian International Chapter C. Simionescu Award and Medal for Excellence in Macromolecular Chemistry (2015) and was named among "The World's Most Infuential Scientific Minds" by Thomson Reuters in 2015. Percec has educated over 250 PhD students and postdoctoral scholars, 50 of them being currently University Professors in US and in other countries.