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Negishi 80th Birthday Celebration


Writer(s): Elizabeth Gardner, Tim Brouk, Steve Scherer


Purdue University’s Nobel laureate Ei-ichi Negishi turned 80 years old on July 14, 2015, and more than one hundred colleagues, friends, former students, and Negishi-Brown Symposium attendees joined in the celebration.

“Although a birthday marks the passing of one year in a life, Dr. Negishi’s impact on humanity will be everlasting,” said Jeffrey Roberts, the Frederick L. Hovde Dean of the College of Science. “It is a joy to celebrate the wonderful person he is and the astounding achievements of his career. It is impossible to overstate the impact he has had on generations of students, faculty and staff at Purdue.”

The Department of Chemistry celebrated his birthday with special technical lectures by former students and friends during the annual Negishi-Brown Lectures on July 13-14, 2015.

“We thought it was a great opportunity to meet with him, be in the lectures and present a poster,” said Behnaz Ghaffari, a chemistry graduate student from Michigan State University. “I’m working in the organometallic field, and he’s one of the famous people in this field. A lot of people are using his chemistry, especially in industry. I was really pleased to see him and talk to him.”

Negishi said he was delighted to see young scientists at the lectures and he was thrilled to see the progress his former students have made in their careers, whether in academia or industry.

“This is one of the best, in my opinion,” said Negishi during a break in the lectures inside Wetherill, Room 200. “Former young people from my group and (fellow Nobel laureate) professor (Herbert) Brown’s group, they have had more time. They have become more independent. They’re doing better science, better chemistry. That is the most pleasing aspect of this Negishi-Brown Lectures.”

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