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Former Science Award Winner Dies

Former winner of the Akzo Nobel Science Award, Professor Jacques H. van Boom, has died after a short illness. He was 67.

A former winner of the Akzo Nobel Science Award, Professor Jacques H. van Boom—who lectured in organic chemistry at Leiden University, the Netherlands—has died after a short illness. He was 67.

Honored in 2000 by Akzo Nobel for his work in the field of the organic synthesis of biomolecules, Boom was one of the most influential Dutch scientists of the last 25 years.

During his career he published more than 750 publications, many of which described his research into the synthesis of complex biomolecules, notably nucleic acids and carbohydrates.

It is widely considered that his entire oeuvre represents a considerable advancement in the understanding of DNA. Professor van Boom’s great qualities as a teacher and a scientist have even been recognized through the formation of a whole school of thought: “Van Boom Chemistry”.

Among the many accomplishments achieved by his group, some of the most notable involved the development of various synthetic vaccines in close collaboration with the pharmaceutical industry, particularly Akzo Nobel’s human healthcare business, Organon.

Born in 1937, he was appointed full professor in organic chemistry at Leiden University in 1978 and remained there throughout his career.

(Released: August 9, 2004)

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