2019 NYU Distinguished Alumnus Award

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Professor Neil Garg has received the 2019 NYU Distinguished Alumnus Award from his alma mater New York University.

A professor of organic chemistry, Garg is known for his innovative teaching techniques, and his breakthroughs in methods development, achievements in natural product total synthesis, and transformative chemical educational initiatives. In 2018, Garg was appointed as the inaugural holder of the Kenneth N. Trueblood Endowed Chair in Chemistry and Biochemistry.

Prior recipients of the NYU Distinguished Alumnus Award include actor & director Spike Lee, director Oliver Stone, former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, and actor Alec Baldwin.

To learn more about Garg, visit his group’s website.

From the New York University (NYU) announcement:

On Friday, April 5, the New York University Alumni Association (NYUAA) will recognize six outstanding alumni from across the University for their exceptional personal and professional achievements and contributions to society. This year’s honorees include US Congressman Hakeem Jeffries (LAW ’97), Broadway producer Emanuel Azenberg (ARTS ’55), professor and chemist Neil Garg (CAS ’00), musical duo A Great Big World members Ian Axel (STEINHARDT ’07) and Chad King (STEINHARDT ’07), and activist and social entrepreneur Erin Schrode (CAS ’13), whose successes and commitments within their communities and around the world exemplify the NYU spirit.

Garg%2CNeil NYUNeil Garg (CAS ’00) – Distinguished Alumnus Award

Neil Garg (CAS ’00), originally from Fishkill, NY, received a BS in chemistry from New York University. During his time at NYU, Garg performed undergraduate research with Professor Marc Walters, served as a Resident Assistant in the NYU dormitories, and was a teaching assistant for general chemistry courses. He received the Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award from the College of Arts and Science in 1999 and graduated in 2000.

Garg went on to obtain a PhD in 2005 from Caltech before performing NIH-sponsored postdoctoral studies at the University of California, Irvine. Garg joined the faculty at UCLA in 2007. He was promoted to associate professor in 2012 and to full professor in 2013. He has served as vice chair for the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry (2012–2016), where he was responsible for educational initiatives. He currently serves as Faculty-in-Residence in the UCLA undergraduate community. In 2018, Garg was appointed as the inaugural holder of the Kenneth N. Trueblood Endowed Chair in Chemistry and Biochemistry.

Garg’s laboratory develops synthetic strategies and methodologies that enable the synthesis of complex bioactive molecules. His recent research-related honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Thieme–IUPAC Prize, the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Merck Award, and the Elias J. Corey Award from the American Chemical Society. He is a Fellow of the American Chemical Society, the Royal Society of Chemistry, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Garg cherishes the opportunity to teach at the graduate and undergraduate levels. He has received several recognitions for his educational contributions, including the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching’s California’s Professor of the Year Award and the Higher Education Award from the Royal Society of Chemistry. Recently, he competed for and won the 2018 Robert Foster Cherry Award for Great Teaching.


Penny Jennings, UCLA Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, penny@chem.ucla.edu.