California NanoSystems Institute
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- January 17, 2007 ? UCLA professor Fraser Stoddart, director of the California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI), who holds UCLA?s Fred Kavli Chair in Nanosystems Sciences, has been awarded the King Faisal International Prize for Science.

The winners of the King Faisal International Prizes for 2007 were announced on 16 January 2007 by HRH Prince Khalid Al-Faisal, Director of the King Faisal Foundation.

The King Faisal Foundation recognizes professor Fraser Stoddart as a pioneer in the development of a new field in chemistry dealing with nanoscience. He is awarded the Prize for his work in molecular recognition and self-assembly. His introduction of quick and efficient template?directed synthetic routes to mechanically interlocked molecular compounds is of seminal importance. It has dramatically changed the way chemists think about molecular systems and how they can be used in the fabrication of molecular switches and machines such as molecular elevators and shuttles.

According to the foundation website, "Stoddart's work was cleverly, elegantly and meticulously done, and carries tremendous creativity, originality and innovation."

"I am both elated and excited by this honor," said Stoddart when he received news of the award. ?The King Faisal International Prize in Science recognizes only the highest stratum of scholars and scientists from universities, scientific societies and research centers throughout the world. The list of previous recipients is dauntingly impressive. They have steered the course of science in their time and now occupy a place in history. It is a humbling experience for me to be joining their ranks.?

?This is a tremendously well deserved award for visionary science,? said Harold G. Martinson, Chair of Chemistry and Biochemistry at UCLA. "Professor Stoddart is one of the founders and chief artisans of topological chemistry, whose principles he is using to develop intricate intertwined molecules as well as tiny molecular switches and machines. We are unusually fortunate here at UCLA to benefit from his vision not only through his inspiring science but also in his creative leadership of the CNSI."

"I was absolutely delighted to hear that Fraser was awarded the Faisal Prize," said Roberto Peccei, Vice Chancellor for Research at UCLA. "This honor recognizes the path-breaking work that Fraser has done in creating entirely new molecular structures, like molecular switches and molecular valves, which are of enormous practical importance."

British Consul General of Los Angeles Bob Peirce said, "I am delighted that Professor Stoddart's extraordinary work is now being recognized around the world. Only three weeks ago he was honored with a knighthood in his native Britain. Like his adopted California, we are very proud of him."

The King Faisal Foundation believes that it is through the collective efforts of outstanding individuals that the highest aspirations are realized. The annual presentation of King Faisal International Prize enables the Foundation to reward dedicated men and women whose contributions make a positive difference including the scientists and scholars whose research results in significant advances in specific areas that benefit humanity. This incentive also encourages expanded research that may lead to important medical and scientific breakthroughs.

Merit and excellence alone are the criteria for selection. As testimony to the high caliber of Prize recipients and to the importance of the research carried out by KFIP laureates, nine winners have gone on to win Nobel prizes for the same works that were recognized by the King Faisal International Prize. Incredibly, four of the six Physics and Chemistry Nobel Laureates for 2001 were former KFIP winners.

Following its inception in 1977 (1397H), the King Faisal International Prize has quickly established itself as one of the world's most prestigious awards. This reputation could not have been accomplished without, firstly, the strict adherence to nomination and selection procedures to ensure that all the winners are selected solely on the basis of merit, and secondly, the continuous support of academic institutions both nationally and internationally. Through the Prize, the King Faisal Foundation seeks to show its appreciation to those individuals who have rendered exceptionally outstanding services in many areas including scholars and scientists who have made significant contributions and advances in areas that benefit humanity at large.

Each year, Islamic organizations, universities and other learned circles throughout the world nominate individuals for any of the five categories of the Prize. The winners are usually announced in January, and receive their awards two months later in a special ceremony held in Riyadh under the auspices of the King of Saudi Arabia. This ceremony is one of the most important annual events organized by the King Faisal Foundation.

The Prize awarded in each category consists of:

  • A certificate written in Arabic calligraphy and presented in a leather folder, describing the work for which the winner is awarded the Prize.
  • A Commemorative 24 carat, 200 gram gold medallion.
  • Saudi Riyals 750,000.00 (US$ 200,000.00).
For more information about the King Faisal International Prize visit

Stoddart is the third professor in UCLA?s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry to win the King Faisal International Prize for science. The others are Mostafa El-Sayed, the 1990 recipient, and M. Frederick Hawthorne, the co-winner in 2003. El-Sayed is now on the faculty at Georgia Tech, and Hawthorne is now on the faculty of Washington University.

About Fraser Stoddart
Three weeks ago, Stoddart was appointed Knight Bachelor by Queen Elizabeth II for services to chemistry and molecular nanotechnology. Stoddart came to UCLA in 1997 as the Saul Winstein Chair in Chemistry. During the past decade, he has led a team of researchers working at the interfaces of physics, materials science and the life sciences with chemistry. In his role as the director of the CNSI, he brings together all of these disciplines under the umbrella of nanosystems research.

Stoddart is ranked by Thomson Scientific as the third most-cited researcher in chemistry for the period from January 1996 to August 2006. He has published more than 770 communications, papers and reviews, and has delivered more than 700 invited lectures around the world.

He is one of the few chemists to have created a new field of chemistry over the past quarter century by introducing an additional bond ? the mechanical bond ? into chemical compounds. Stoddart pioneered the use of molecular recognition and self-assembly to create mechanically interlocked compounds called catenanes (which consist of two or more interlocked rings, as in the links of a chain) and rotaxanes (dumbbell-shaped components with at least one ring threaded in a manner reminiscent of an abacus).

Stoddart came to UCLA in 1997 from England's University of Birmingham, where he had been a professor of organic chemistry since 1990 and had headed the university's School of Chemistry since 1993. In 2005, he received an honorary doctor of science degree from the University of Birmingham, and he received the same honor from the University of Twente in the Netherlands in December 2006.

Born in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1942, Stoddart received his bachelor of science (1964) and Ph.D. (1966) degrees from the University of Edinburgh, where he worked with British chemist Sir Edmund Hirst. In 1967, he moved to Queen?s University in Ontario, Canada, where he was a National Research Council postdoctoral fellow and then, in 1970, to England?s University of Sheffield, where he was first an Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI) research fellow and then a faculty lecturer (assistant professor) in chemistry. He was a Science Research Council senior visiting fellow at UCLA in 1978. After spending a three-year ?secondment? (1978?81) at the ICI corporate laboratory in Runcorn, England, he returned full-time to the University of Sheffield, where he was promoted to a readership (associate professorship). He moved to the University of Birmingham in 1990.

Stoddart was awarded a doctorate of science by the University of Edinburgh in 1980 for his research into chemistry beyond the molecule. He was also the recipient of the University of Edinburgh?s Alumnus of the Year award in 2005, presented annually to a former student for exceptional achievement in arts, science, business, public service or academic life. Previous winners include British politician Lord Steel of Aikwood, novelist Ian Rankin and two-time Olympic medalist Katherine Grainger.

Stoddart is a fellow of the Royal Society (1994), the German Academy of Natural Sciences (1999), the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2005) and the Science Division of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (2006).

When Stoddart was appointed director of the CNSI in 2003, he also assumed the Fred Kavli Chair in Nanosystems Sciences. Presently, the Saul Winstein Chair in Chemistry is being held in abeyance.

About the CNSI
The CNSI is a research center at UCLA whose mission is to encourage university collaboration with industry and to enable the rapid commercialization of discoveries in nanosystems. CNSI members who are on the faculty at UCLA represent a multi-disciplinary team of some of the world?s preeminent scientists. The work conducted at the CNSI represents world-class expertise in five targeted areas of nanosystems-related research including Renewable Energy; Environmental Nanotechnology and Nanotoxicology; NanoBiotechnology and Biomaterials; NanoMechanical and NanoFluidic systems; and NanoElectronics, Photonics and Architectonics. The CNSI?s new building on the campus of UCLA is home to eight core facilities which will serve both academic and industry collaborations. For additional information on CNSI please visit

About UCLA
California?s largest university, UCLA enrolls approximately 38,000 students per year and offers degrees from the UCLA College of Letters and Science and 11 professional schools in dozens of varied disciplines. UCLA consistently ranks among the top five universities and colleges nationally in total research-and-development spending, receiving more than $820 million a year in competitively awarded federal and state grants and contracts. For every $1 state taxpayers invest in UCLA, the university generates almost $9 in economic activity, resulting in an annual $6 billion economic impact on the Greater Los Angeles region. The university?s health care network treats 450,000 patients per year. UCLA employs more than 27,000 faculty and staff, has more than 350,000 living alumni and has been home to five Nobel Prize recipients.

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