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Donald James Cram
Born April 22, 1919
Chester, Vermont
Died June 17, 2001
Nationality American
Fields chemist
Institutions UCLA, Merck & Co, MIT
Alma mater Rollins College
Doctoral advisor Louis Fieser
Known for Cram's rule
Host guest chemistry
phenonium ions
paracyclophanes
Notable awards 1987 Nobel Prize in Chemistry
National Medal of Science
Guggenheim fellowship,1955

Donald James Cram (April 22, 1919 – June 17, 2001) was an American chemist who shared the 1987 Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Jean-Marie Lehn and Charles J. Pedersen "for their development and use of molecules with structure-specific interactions of high selectivity." They were the founders of the field of host-guest chemistry.

Contents

Biography

Cram was born in Chester, Vermont,[1] and died in Palm Desert, California.[2] He was the originator of Cram's rule, which provides a model for predicting the outcome of nucleophilic attack of carbonyl compounds.[3] He published more than 418 publications that have been cited some 27,000 times (h-index 88) and he wrote seven books. [4]

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Education

Cram went to Winwood High School, Long Island, N.Y.,[5] and then to Rollins College, Florida, from 1938 to 1941. He received his master's degree from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln in 1942, with Norman O. Cromwell as his thesis adviser. He subject was "Amino ketones, mechanism studies of the reactions of heterocyclic secondary amines with -bromo-, -unsaturated ketones."[6]

Cram was awarded his doctorate by Harvard University in organic chemistry in 1947, with Louis Fieser, as the adviser on his dissertation on "Syntheses and reactions of 2-(ketoalkyl)-3-hydroxy-1,4-naphthoquinones"[7]

Career history

Cram's work history included a time with the Merck & Co penicillin program, with mentor Max Tishler, 1942-1945. Postdoctoral work was as an American Chemical Society postdoctoral fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, with John D. Roberts.

He was named an assistant professor at the University of California, Los Angeles in 1947 and a professor in 1955. He served there until 1987.

Awards and honors

Field of study

Crystal structure of a nitrobenzene bound within a hemicarcerand reported by Cram and coworkers[8]

Cram expanded upon Charles Pedersen's ground-breaking synthesis of crown ethers, two-dimensional organic compounds that are able to recognize and selectively combine with the ions of certain metal elements. Cram synthesized molecules that took this chemistry into three dimensions, creating an array of differently shaped molecules that could interact selectively with other chemicals because of their complementary three-dimensional structures. His work represented a large step toward the synthesis of functional laboratory-made mimics of enzymes and other natural molecules whose special chemical behavior is due to their characteristic structure. He also did work in stereochemistry and Cram's rule of asymmetric induction is named after him.

As a teacher

Not only was he a researcher, but he was also a popular teacher, having instructed some 8,000 undergraduates in his career and guided the academic output of 200 graduate students. He entertained his classes by strumming his guitar and singing folk songs.[2] He showed a self-deprecating style, saying at one time:

"An investigator starts research in a new field with faith, a foggy idea, and a few wild experiments. Eventually the interplay of negative and positive results guides the work. By the time the research is completed, he or she knows how it should have been started and conducted." [1]

Books

  1. Cram, Donald J.; Jane M. Cram (1994). Container Molecules and their Guests. Great Britain: Royal Society of Chemistry. pp. 223 pp.. ISBN 0854045074.  
  2. Cram, Donald J. (1990). From Design to Discovery. Washington, DC: American Chemical Society. pp. 146pp.  
  3. Cram, Jane M.; Donald J. Cram (1978). The Essence of Organic Chemistry. Reading, Massachusetts: Addison-Wesley. pp. 456pp.  
  4. Hendrickson, James B.; Donald J. Cram, George S. Hammond (1970). Organic Chemistry. Reading, Massachussetts: McGraw-Hill. pp. 1279pp. 3rd ed..  
  5. Richards, John; Don Cram, George S. Hammond (1967). Elements of organic chemistry. New York: McGraw-Hill. pp. 444pp. http://lccn.loc.gov/66024479.  
  6. Cram, Donald J. (1965). Fundamentals of Carbanion Chemistry. New York: Academic Press. pp. 289pp.  
  7. Cram, Donald J.; George S. Hammond (1964). Organic Chemistry. New York: McGraw-Hill. pp. 846pp. 2nd ed..  
  8. Cram, Donald J.; George S. Hammond (1959). Organic Chemistry. New York: McGraw-Hill. pp. 712pp. 1st ed..  

External links

References

  1. ^ Donald J. Cram. "Autobiography". The Nobel Foundation. http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/chemistry/laureates/1987/cram-autobio.html.  
  2. ^ a b University of California (2001-06-19). "Donald Cram, Nobel Laureate and UCLA Chemist, Dies at 82". Press release. http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/article/3358.  
  3. ^ Studies in Stereochemistry. X. The Rule of "Steric Control of Asymmetric Induction" in the Syntheses of Acyclic Systems Donald J. Cram, Fathy Ahmed Abd Elhafez J. Am. Chem. Soc.; 1952; 74(23); 5828-5835. Abstract
  4. ^ ISI Web of Knowledge citation report: Subject Heading=(LIFE SCIENCES BIOMEDICINE OR MULTIDISCIPLINARY SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY OR PHYSICAL SCIENCES) AND Author=(CRAM D*)Timespan=All Years. Databases=SCI-EXPANDED, A&HCI, SSCI. Refined by: Subject Areas=( CHEMISTRY, MULTIDISCIPLINARY OR CHEMISTRY, APPLIED OR CHEMISTRY, ORGANIC OR CHEMISTRY, ANALYTICAL OR MULTIDISCIPLINARY SCIENCES OR EDUCATION & EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH OR CHEMISTRY, PHYSICAL OR ENERGY & FUELS OR BIOCHEMISTRY & MOLECULAR BIOLOGY OR EDUCATION, SCIENTIFIC DISCIPLINES OR PHARMACOLOGY & PHARMACY OR CRYSTALLOGRAPHY ) AND Authors=( CRAM, DJ OR CRAM, JM OR CRAM, D ) AND [excluding] Publication Years=( 2007 OR 2008 ) AND [excluding] Document Type=( MEETING ABSTRACT ) AND [excluding] Subject Areas=( GENETICS & HEREDITY )
  5. ^ James, Laylin K. (1994). Nobel Laureates in Chemistry 1901-1992. Washington, DC: American Chemical Society and Chemical Heritage Foundation. pp. 146pp. ISBN 0-8412-2459-5.  
  6. ^ University of Nebraska Research Library entry
  7. ^ Harvard Library Hollis search
  8. ^ Juyoung Yoon, Carolyn B. Knobler, Emily F. Maverick and Donald J. Cram (1997). "Dissymmetric new hemicarcerands containing four bridges of different lengths". Chem. Commun.: 1303–1304. doi:10.1039/a701187c.  

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