Stanley Wawzonek Lectureship - Professor John L. Wood

Professor John L. Wood
Friday, April 5, 2019 - 3:30pm

Professor John L. Wood, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Baylor University, will deliver the 2019 University of Iowa Department of Chemistry Stanley Wawzonek Lectureship at 3:30pm Friday, April 5, in C20 Pomerantz Center.  Hors d'oeuvres Reception to follow in the Black Box Theater (Room 360), Iowa Memorial Union.

John L. Wood was born on December 4, 1961 in Keokuk, Iowa.  He received a B.A. degree from the University of Colorado in 1985 and a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1991 under the direction of Amos B. Smith, III.  In 1991 he moved to Harvard University as an American Cancer Society postdoctoral fellow and continued studying natural products synthesis in the laboratories of Stuart Schreiber.  He joined the faculty at Yale University in 1993 as an Assistant Professor and was promoted to Full Professor in 1998.  In 2006, Professor Wood joined the faculty at Colorado State University as the Albert I. Meyers Professor of Chemistry and in 2013 moved to Baylor University as the Robert A. Welch Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas Scholar.

The major focus of Professor Wood’s research is synthetic organic chemistry.  Of primary emphasis is the design of innovative solutions to problems in natural product synthesis.  In choosing targets for synthesis, Wood gives equal emphasis to structural complexity and biological activity.  Giving complexity a high priority and pursuing targets with no obvious solution for synthesis ensures innovation in the synthetic design.  Preparing targets of biological interests adds value to the research by providing access to compounds of potential utility to investigations outside the traditional realm of chemistry.  Within this general research paradigm, projects are initially designed to address fundamental questions in chemistry.  As the chemistry matures, the role it can play in producing biologically interesting molecular systems is evaluated. 

Professor Wood received a Camille and Henry Dreyfus New Faculty Award in 1993, an American Cancer Society Junior Faculty Award in 1994, an NSF CAREER award in 1996, an Eli Lilly Young Faculty Award in 1996, a Glaxo-Wellcome Chemistry Scholar Award in 1996, and a Bristol-Myers Squibb Research Award in 1997.  He was the Parke-Davis Distinguished Michigan Lecturer in 1997 and received a Novartis Chemistry Lectureship and an Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship in 1997.  He served as the guest editor for the Tetrahedron Symposium in Print on Synthetic Methods V and as a visiting Professor at the University of Auckland.  In 1998 Professor Wood was the recipient of research awards from the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, the Yamanouchi USA foundation, and received the Zeneca Excellence in Chemistry Award.  In 2000 Professor Wood received a Merck Faculty Award and in 2001 he was awarded The Kitasato Intistute’s  Microbial Chemistry Medal.  In 2004 Professor Wood was named as a Cope Scholar by the American Chemical Society and in 2009 has received the Katritzky Award from the International Society of Heterocyclic Chemistry.  Professor Wood is the Tetrahedron Letters associate editor for the Americas and is on the board of editors for Organic Syntheses.