Professor Neil Garg has been named the Kenneth N. Trueblood Endowed Chair in Chemistry and Biochemistry.
Established in August 2017, the chair was funded by a gift from the estate of the late Ken and Jeanie Trueblood and with matching funds from the department and Dean’s Office.
“Neil’s enthusiastic commitment to the highest quality in both teaching and research makes him the perfect fit for the Trueblood chair” said Department Chair Professor Catherine F. Clarke. “Ken Trueblood was known at UCLA as a wonderful colleague, scientist, and teacher. Many alumni and students should also be familiar with his name as our largest lecture room in Young Hall, room CS50, is named in his honor. His wife Jeanie is also remembered very fondly, as she was an active member of the UCLA community for many decades and a supporter of women scientists, women’s issues, and environmental and anti-war causes.”
Professor Kenneth N. Trueblood in 1949 and later in life.
Garg’s laboratory develops synthetic strategies and methods that enable the synthesis of complex bioactive molecules. He has received many honors for his research, including the EJ Corey and Arthur C. Cope Scholar Awards from the American Chemical Society, the Merck Award from the Royal Society of Chemistry, the Tetrahedron Young Investigator Award, the Sloan Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the Thieme-IUPAC Prize. He recently became a Fellow of the American Chemical Society.
Garg is also considered an innovator in chemical education. In addition to excelling in classroom teaching and making organic chemistry “UCLA’s Most Beloved Class”, Garg has developed several educational tools, such as his online tutorials called BACON, the Organic Coloring Book, a free organic chemistry smartphone app, and a new online molecular visualization resource called QR Chem. Garg has received numerous accolades for his teaching including the ASBMB Award for Exemplary Contributions to Education, the UCLA Distinguished Teaching Award & Eby Award for the Art of Teaching, and the UCLA Faculty Gold Shield Prize. In 2015, he was named California’s U.S. Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Earlier this year, he competed for and won the Robert Foster Cherry Award for Great Teaching, which is the largest college-level teaching prize in the world.
Garg also serves as Faculty-in-Residence in the UCLA dormitories, where he has a positive impact on thousands of UCLA undergraduate students each year.
“A special thank you to Diane Russell (niece of Ken and Jeanie Trueblood) and Brooke Sanders (Executive Director of Development) for helping make this gift to the department happen” Clarke said.