Nobel Laureate Sir Fraser Stoddart visited UCLA to give two Mautner Lectures, one on his life and career and one on mechanical innovations of the past century.
On November 27, 2018, Stoddart gave his Mautner Public Lecture titled “My Journey to Stockholm” after which the Mautner Graduate Awards were presented to four Chemistry & Biochemistry graduate students by Leonard Mautner’s grandson, Lewis Perkins. Stoddart then gave his Mautner Research Lecture on November 28 titled “Engines Through the Ages”. Both lectures and the following receptions were held at the UCLA California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI).
Stoddart is the Board of Trustees Professor of Chemistry and head of the Stoddart Mechanostereochemistry Group in the Department of Chemistry at Northwestern University. His breakthroughs in the synthesis of the molecular machines, the smallest machines ever created by humans, led him to receive the 2016 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
Photos from the 2018 Mautner Memorial Lecture Series events, and Stoddart’s visit to UCLA, can be viewed below, and the full photo gallery is available here.
At his Mautner Public Lecture, Stoddart discussed his journey from growing up on a humble Scottish farm to being knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2007, and winning the Nobel Prize in 2016.
The Mautner Memorial Lecture Series and Graduate Awards were established in 1983 by the late Leonard Mautner (1917-2006) to recognize the importance of scientific thought and provide a forum for the dissemination of scientific discovery to students and the public. Leonard Mautner’s sons Lewis and David Perkins, and Lewis’ son Kevin Perkins, also a UCLA supporter, were present at the events.
“This series is a proud part of UCLA’s deep commitment to promoting and advancing scientific education” said Dean of Physical Sciences Miguel García-Garibay in his welcoming remarks at the public lecture. “We are profoundly grateful to the Mautner family, and we are delighted that they are here tonight to celebrate Leonard’s generous legacy to UCLA.”
Leonard Mautner’s son Lewis Perkins (left) introduced son Kevin Perkins (right) who presented the graduate awards.
After being introduced by his father Lewis Perkins, Kevin Perkins presented the Mautner Graduate Awards to chemistry graduate students Wei Chen (Zink lab), Cheng-Wei Lin (Kaner lab), and Mary Waddington (Spokoyny lab). The awards, which include a $5,000 prize, recognize currently enrolled meritorious graduate students who are conducting research in the areas related to the topic of the Mautner Research Lecture.
In his remarks, Kevin Perkins said “The Mautner Graduate awards address a vital need: helping UCLA attracts the very best students and provides an environment of rich resources to maintain our academic and research excellence.”
Leonard Mautner’s grandson Kevin Perkins (second from left) presented the Mautner Graduate Awards to chemistry graduate students Mary Waddington (Spokoyny lab), Cheng-Wei Lin (Kaner lab), and Wei Chen (Zink lab), pictured here with Dean Miguel García-Garibay (left).
UCLA presents the Mautner Memorial Lectures every two years, alternating between the Divisions of Physical and Life Sciences. Previous Mautner lecturers have included Nobel Laureate Paul Berg, world-renowned plasma physicist Roald Sagdeev, and Nobel Laureate and former Director of the National Cancer Institute, Harold Varmus.
In his Mautner Research Lecture, Stoddart discussed the mechanical innovations of the past century.
At the reception following the first lecture – (left) Dean of Life Sciences Victoria Sork with UCLA supporters Morton La Kretz, Phyllis Marell, and Alan Grinnell. (Right) UCLA supporter Dr. Mani L. Bhaumik with Dean of Physical Sciences Miguel García-Garibay.
(Left) Stoddart poses for a photo with chemistry & biochemistry professors Alex Spokoyny and Richard Kaner. (Right) Jocelyn Peccei, Roberto Peccei, former UCLA Vice Chancellor for Research, and chemistry & biochemistry professor Ken Houk.
(From left) Chemistry & Biochemistry Chair Catherine Clarke, Larry Perkins, Dean of Physical Sciences Miguel García-Garibay, David Perkins, Youssry Botros, Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of PanaceaNano, Inc.
It was a busy visit for Stoddart: in addition to giving the Mautner Lectures, he presented the 2018 Norma Stoddart Prize to Dr. Nako Nakatsuka (Ph.D. ’17 Andrews/P Weiss groups) before her Stoddart Lecture on November 28, and he held informal “Meet a Nobel Laureate” sessions for chemistry and biochemistry undergraduate and graduate students.
Stoddart presented the 2018 Norma Stoddart Prize to Nako Nakatsuka at the Norma Stoddart Lecture (left) and met with chemistry and biochemistry undergraduate students.
Stoddart with chemistry and biochemistry undergraduate students after their “Meet the Nobel Laureate” session.
Stoddart with chemistry and biochemistry graduate students after their “Meet the Nobel Laureate” session.
About Sir J. Fraser Stoddart
Sir J. Fraser Stoddart joined the UCLA Chemistry & Biochemistry faculty in 1997 as the Saul Winstein Professor of Chemistry. In 2002, he became the Acting Co-Director of the California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI) and in 2003 he was appointed the Director of the CNSI and assumed the Fred Kavli Chair of NanoSystems Sciences. He retired from UCLA in 2008 after joining the faculty at Northwestern University in his current position as a Board of Trustees Professor of Chemistry where he is also Director of the Center for the Chemistry of Integrated Systems (CCIS). Stoddart returns to UCLA each year to award the Norma Stoddart Prize for Academic Excellence and Outstanding Citizenship, which was named in memory of his late wife, to a recent UCLA doctoral graduate in the chemistry and biochemistry department. The prize was endowed by the Stoddart family in 2004 and first presented in 2011. Norma Stoddart was an accomplished biochemist and longtime adviser and manager of the Stoddart lab. Stoddart was named a knight bachelor in 2006 by Queen Elizabeth II, and is a fellow of the Royal Society of London, the German Academy (Leopoldina) of Natural Sciences, as well as an honorary fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and the Royal Society of Chemistry.
In 2015, Stoddart and Dr. Youssry Botros, a former research director at Intel Corporation in the field of nanotechnology, founded PanaceaNano, Inc., a nanotechnology company focused on the design and manufacture of newly discovered functional nano-materials and systems that will have applications in various industries, including biotechnology, energy storage and generation, and electronics.
Stoddart was awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 2016, alongside Ben Feringa and Jean-Pierre Sauvage, for the design and synthesis of molecular machines.
To learn more about Stoddart’s research, visit his group’s website here. He can be followed on Twitter at @sirfrasersays.
Mautner Lecture photos by Reed Hutchinson. Article and “Meet a Nobel Laureate” photos by Penny Jennings, UCLA Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, firstname.lastname@example.org.