Iwao Ojima, distinguished professor in the Department of Chemistry at Stony Brook University, has been elected as a fellow of the European Academy of Sciences (EurASc). He will be honored at the induction ceremony of new members at EurASc’s Annual Symposium and Ceremony of Awards event this April at the Sorbonne University in Paris, France, which will be held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Throughout his research career, Dr. Ojima has had numerous ties to the European scientific community. He was first recognized by European chemistry communities in organometallic chemistry, catalysis and fluorine chemistry, prior to joining the faculty at Stony Brook. He has held two sabbaticals at universities in Lyon and Paris, and his inventions on natural product-based anticancer agents were licensed to both French and Italian pharmaceutical companies. Over the years, Dr. Ojima has had a good number of French, Italian, and other European postdoctoral researchers and graduate students in his laboratory. In addition, he served on the External Advisory Board of a highly innovative and successful multidisciplinary Center of Excellence, “Cell in Motion,” at the University of Münster and the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Biomedicine in Münster, Germany.
“I feel deeply honored to have been elected to the European Academy of Sciences as an American scientist, given EurASc puts a 20 percent cap for its members from outside of Europe,” said Dr. Ojima, who is also founding director of the Institute of Chemical Biology & Drug Discovery and president of the Stony Brook University Chapter of the National Academy of Inventors. “Accordingly, I am thrilled to have been added to the exclusive roster of scientists in this prestigious academy.”
“Iwao’s commitment to excellence in science has been invaluable to the Department of Chemistry, our colleagues and to the many students he has mentored over the years, and we are proud of his international recognition,” said Nicole S. Sampson, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and distinguished professor of Chemistry. “My deepest congratulations to Iwao on this prestigious honor!”
“I am delighted that Professor Ojima has been elected to the European Academy of Sciences,” said Peter Tonge, distinguished professor and chair of the Department of Chemistry. “This is an exceptional achievement and very well-deserved recognition for his numerous international scientific contributions as well as his strong connections to the European scientific community. Professor Ojima is an outstanding member of our Chemistry Department at Stony Brook, and I am privileged to have him as a colleague!”
Dr. Ojima received his PhD from the University of Tokyo and joined the Stony Brook faculty in 1983 as associate professor in the Department of Chemistry. He was promoted to professor in 1984 and then became a SUNY distinguished professor in 1995. Dr. Ojima is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including four national awards from the American Chemical Society in four different fields of chemistry, which is a very rare achievement: He won the Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award (1994, synthetic organic chemistry), Emanuel B. Hershberg Award (2001, medicinal chemistry), ACS Award for Creative Work in Fluorine Chemistry (2013) and Ernest Guenther Award in the Chemistry of Natural Products (2019).
His other honors include: fellow of the John S. Guggenheim Foundation (1995), American Association of Advancement of Science (1997), New York Academy of Sciences (2000), American Chemical Society (2010), National Academy of Inventors (2014); induction to the ACS Medicinal Chemistry Hall of Fame (2006); and Outstanding Inventor Award from SUNY-Research Foundation (2002). He has published more than 490 peer viewed papers and reviews and has held more than 100 issued patents.
Other EurASc members from Stony Brook include John Milnor, distinguished professor of mathematics and Arie E. Kaufman, distinguished professor of computer science.
EurASc — the European equivalent of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in the U.S. — is a non-profit non-governmental, independent organization of the most distinguished scholars and engineers performing forefront research and the development of advanced technologies, united by a commitment to promoting science and technology and their essential roles in fostering social and economic development.