Hofmann Award 2011

Professor Dennis Dougherty,

California Institute of Technology

Chemistry on the Brain: Understanding the
    Nicotine Receptor


   University of Zürich, Irchel Campus,
   Department of Chemistry

   18th of April 2011


Dennis A. Dougherty is the George Grant Hoag Professor of Chemistry at California Institute of Technology. His research applies physical organic chemistry to systems of biological importance. Dougherty utilizes a variety of approaches to further understanding of the human brain, including the in vivo nonsense suppression methodology for incorporating unnatural amino acids into a variety of ion channels for structure-function studies.

Dougherty received his B.S. and M.S. in 1974 from Bucknell University. Subsequently, he earned his Ph.D. in 1978 under the supervision of Kurt Mislow at Princeton University and was a post-doctoral scholar in Jerome Berson's lab at Yale University in 1979.

In 1979 Dougherty became a member of the Caltech faculty, earning tenure in 1985. He is the scientific co-founder of Neurion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. In 2005 he published a textbook entitled Modern Physical Organic Chemistry with co-author Eric V. Anslyn. Dougherty is the recipient of multiple teaching awards including the Richard Badger Teaching Award (1992), the ASCIT Excellence in Teaching Award (1987 and 2000), and the Richard P. Feynman Prize for Excellence in Teaching (2010). In 2009, he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences.