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Armstrong named fellow of American Chemical Society

Aug. 9, 2012, 10:30 AM

Vanderbilt University’s Richard Armstrong, Ph.D., has been named to the fourth class of American Chemical Society (ACS) Fellows in recognition of his “outstanding achievements in and contributions to science, the profession and the society.”

Armstrong, professor of Biochemistry and Chemistry, is among 96 fellows named this year by the ACS, the world’s largest scientific society with 164,000 members. He is the third ACS fellow from Vanderbilt.

Richard Armstrong, Ph.D.

“This is a truly significant honor that recognizes sustained contribution to the discipline of chemistry, an award that is richly deserved,” said Walter Chazin, Ph.D., director of the Vanderbilt University Center for Structural Biology and Chancellor’s Professor of Biochemistry and Chemistry.

“This is a terrific honor for me personally and professionally,” said Armstrong, who also is editor-in-chief of the journal Biochemistry. “The ACS has been a key part of my scientific development since I joined the society in 1973 as a graduate student.”

A member of the Vanderbilt faculty since 1995, Armstrong has made significant contributions to understanding detoxification enzymes and, more recently, to the de novo elucidation of enzyme function by integrating mechanistic chemistry with the genome-wide analysis of enzyme super-families.

In 2005, Vanderbilt University Medical Center honored him with the Stanley Cohen Award for his application of cutting-edge technology and chemistry to determine the mechanisms of action of enzymes involved in the metabolism of foreign or xenobiotic molecules.

Armstrong is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is the recipient of the 2011 Repligen Award in the Chemistry of Biological Processes, and also last year was appointed foreign adjunct professor at the famed Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden.

He was cited by the ACS as “a leader in the application of multiple disciplines … to understand the chemistry of biological processes” and for his service to the society.

The other ACS fellows from Vanderbilt are F. Peter (Fred) Guengerich, Ph.D., the Harry Pearson Broquist Professor of Biochemistry (named to the first class of fellows in 2009), and Lawrence Marnett, Ph.D., University Professor and director of the Vanderbilt Institute of Chemical Biology (named a fellow in 2010).

The complete list of the 2012 ACS Fellows can be found at and in the July 23 issue of Chemical and Engineering News.

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