Stephen J. Lippard

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Stephen J. Lippard
Born (1940-10-12)October 12, 1940
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Residence U.S.
Nationality American
Fields Chemistry
Institutions Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Columbia University
Alma mater Haverford College (B.S.) (1962)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Ph.D) (1965)
Doctoral advisor F. Albert Cotton
Notable awards National Medal of Science (2004)
Linus Pauling Award (2009)
Priestley Medal (2014)

Stephen J. Lippard is an American bioinorganic chemist and the Arthur Amos Noyes Professor of Chemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Education and Career

Lippard was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he graduated from Taylor Allderdice High School in 1958. He earned his bachelor's degree from Haverford College in 1962 and Ph.D. from the MIT in 1965, under the direction of F. Albert Cotton. He joined the faculty of Columbia University in 1966 as an Assistant Professor. He was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 1969 and full Professor in 1972. In 1983, Lippard returned to MIT as a Professor of Chemistry. He served as the head of the MIT chemistry department from 1995 to 2005.[1]

Lippard has co-authored 850 scholarly and professional articles, edited several books and co-authored the textbook Principles of Bioinorganic Chemistry with Jeremy Berg. He currently serves as an Associate Editor of the Journal of the American Chemical Society. He previously edited the book series Progress in Inorganic Chemistry from Volume 11 to 40 and was an Associate Editor of the journal Inorganic Chemistry. Lippard serves or has served on the editorial boards of numerous other journals.

Research interests

Lippard's research activities are at the interface of inorganic chemistry and biology. A major focus of his activities is to understand and improve anticancer drugs in the cisplatin family. He also studies enzymes that consume greenhouse gas hydrocarbons like methane and devises optical and MRI sensors to study brain function.[2]

Notable Contributions

Lippard’s laboratory discovered and named the first metallointercalators, platinum terpyridine complexes that insert between the DNA base pairs and unwind the double helix. This work led to experiments defining how platinum drugs bind their biological targets and insights into how they manifest their anticancer activity. His laboratory determined the X-ray structure of the soluble form of methane monooxygenase (MMO), elucidated many details of its molecular mechanism, and synthesized analogues of the diiron carboxylate cores of MMO and many related carboxylate-bridged diiron proteins such as the dioxygen transporter hemerythrin. He founded the field of metalloneurochemistry, at the interface of inorganic chemistry and neuroscience, and has devised fluorescent imaging agents for studying mobile zinc and nitric oxide as neurotransmitters and as other biological signaling agents.

Honors and awards

Lippard has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, the National Institute of Medicine, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is an honorary member of the Irish Royal Society, the Italian Chemical Society, and the German National Academy of Sciences (Leopoldina), and is an external scientific member of the Max-Planck Institute in Germany.[3] He has received honorary Doctorate of Science degrees from Haverford College,[4] Texas A&M University,[5] and the University of South Carolina.[6]

Lippard has received many awards throughout his career, most notably the 2004 National Medal of Science, the 2014 Priestley Medal of the American Chemical Society, its highest award, and the 2014 James R. Killian lectureship at MIT, given to one faculty member of the Institute per year. He is also the recipient of the Linus Pauling Medal,[7] Theodore W. Richards Medal,[8] and the William H. Nichols Medal. For his work in bioinorganic and biomimetic chemistry, Lippard received the Ronald Breslow Award[9](subscription required) and the Alfred Bader Award[10] from the American Chemical Society (ACS). For research in inorganic and organometallic chemistry, as well as his role as an educator (over 100 Ph. D. students), he was honored with ACS awards for Inorganic Chemistry and for Distinguished Service in Inorganic Chemistry.

Personal life

Lippard and his late wife Judy were married in 1964 and he lives in Harvard Square. He has two sons, Josh and Alex, a daughter-in-law Sandra, and twin granddaughters, Lucy and Annie. Lippard plays the harpsichord, jogs and is an avid fan of the Boston Red Sox. Judy Lippard died Monday, September 9, 2013 of cancer.[11]


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External links