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Honorary Doctorates Awarded to Chemists


Dr. Jerry Atwood

May 2013


Honorary Doctor of Science Citation

The University of South Florida today presents an Honorary Doctorate of Science to internationally known scientist, scholar and mentor Dr. Jerry Atwood.

Dr. Jerry Atwood is currently the Curator, Professor and Chair of the Department of Chemistry at the University of Missouri. An international leader in the field of supramolecular chemistry, Dr. Atwood was one of the first scientists to understand the significance of this emerging field. He has pioneered this area of research, co-writing a textbook, co-editing an encyclopedia, founding a journal and writing numerous notable research articles on the field. Dr. Atwood holds 13 patents and numerous notable research findings. In 1969, he first discovered liquid clathrates, (lattices of one type of molecule that can trap a second kind of molecule), which led to the development of the field of “green” or “environmentally friendly” chemistry. In 1997, he uncovered a way to fabricate nanocapsules, which he is currently trying to tweak for use as targeted drug-delivery mechanisms in the body. Heralded as a milestone in scientific circles, the discovery could revolutionize industries such as computer technology and pharmaceuticals.

Astoundingly, Dr. Atwood’s prolific body of work has been cited more than 29,000 times with 67 of his papers having more than 100 citations each. He has published more than 750 articles in refereed journals, including five in Science, four in Nature, 45 in Angewandte Chemie and 104 in the Journal of the American Chemical Society. Editor of numerous peer-reviewed journals, he founded the journal Supramolecular Chemistry in 1992 and the Journal of Inclusion Phenomena in 1983.

An elected foreign member of the PolishAcademy of Science, Dr. Atwood was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry in 2005. He received the Izatt-Christensen International Macrocycle Award and the UM System President’s Award from the American Chemical Society in 2005. Other honors and awards he has received include the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science Award in 1992 and the von Humboldt Senior Scientist Award in Germany in 1989.

Dr. Atwood has supported the education of chemists at USF and around the world. His impact as an outstanding teacher is reflected in the number of students that he mentored and which are now in prestigious positions all over the world including France, England, Germany, Japan, Poland, South Africa and the United States.

He received a B.S. in chemistry and Mathematics from Southwest Missouri State University and a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois.

Dr. Atwood has three sons and one daughter and resides in Columbia, Missouri.