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Dr. Eric Jacobsen

Honorary Doctorates Awarded to Chemists


Dr. Eric Jacobsen

December 12, 2015



The University of South Florida today presents an Honorary Doctor of Science to renowned organic chemist and outstanding science educator, Dr. Eric Jacobsen.

Dr. Jacobsen joined Harvard University as full professor in 1993, was named the Sheldon Emory Professor of Organic Chemistry in 2001, and has served as Chair of the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology since 2010. He directs a research group of 20 graduate students and postdocs dedicated to discovering useful catalytic reactions, and to applying state-of-the-art mechanistic and computational techniques to the analysis of those reactions. Several of the catalysts developed in his labs have found widespread application in industry and academia. Before joining Harvard, Dr. Jacobsen served on the faculty of the University of Illinois from 1988 to 1993.

Dr. Jacobsen has had remarkable career progress and has received significant recognition. He was named a full professor at Harvard University at the age of 33 and elected to the National Academy of Sciences and the Academy of Arts and Sciences, both at age 44.

His colleagues describe Dr. Jacobsen as a renowned lecturer, teacher and inspirational community servant to students, would-be faculty members, government agencies, private interest and numerous companies. He has published over 233 publications with respected journals such as the Journal of the American Chemical Society, Journal of Organic Chemistry and Angewante Chemie International edition.

Dr. Jacobsen has 15 patents and is the recipient of numerous awards including the Briston-DTC-Syngenta Award, Remsen Award, Fannie-Cox Teaching Award, Nagoya Gold Medal Prize, NIH Merit Award and Camille and Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award.

Dr. Jacobsen has spent time at USF inspiring and mentoring faculty and students during his visit as the inaugural Stewart and Aina Schneller Legacy lecturer in the USF Department of Chemistry.

He earned his B.S. in Chemistry at New York University, his Ph.D. at University of California Berkeley, and carried out postdoctoral studies at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.