Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Donald J. Cram
Donald James Cram (April 22, 1919 - June 17, 2001) was an American chemist who shared the 1987 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for “synthesizing three-dimensional molecules that could mimic the functioning of natural molecules.” He also won the National Academy of Science Award in the Chemical Sciences.
Cram was educated at Rollins College, Florida, and at the University of Nebraska, and he received his doctorate in organic chemistry from Harvard University in 1947. He joined the faculty of the University of California, Los Angeles in 1947 and became a full professor there in 1956.
Field of Study
Cram expanded upon Charles Pedersen's ground-breaking synthesis of crown ethers, basically two-dimensional organic compounds that are able to recognize and selectively combine with the ions of certain metal elements. Cram synthesized molecules that took this chemistry into three dimensions, creating an array of differently shaped molecules that could interact selectively with other chemicals because of their complementary three-dimensional structures. His work represented a large step toward the synthesis of functional laboratory-made mimics of enzymes and other natural molecules whose special chemical behavior is due to their characteristic structure.
He died in Palm Desert, California.
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details