W. Alton Jones Emeritus Professor of Chemistry Frank Mallory has been named a fellow by the American Chemical Society (ACS).
A faculty member at Bryn Mawr since 1957, Mallory is best know for the “Mallory reaction,” which he discovered serendipitously as a graduate student at the California Institute of Technology in 1955. The Mallory reaction became a staple of organic chemistry, used by thousands of chemists to synthesize new compounds.
“There are thousands of compounds that contain one six-membered carbon ring,” Frank explains. “They tend to have unusual properties, and people are very interested in getting compounds with more of these rings fused together. Synthesizing a compound with two rings is quite difficult, so the conventional wisdom when I was in graduate school was that fusing three rings together would be very much more difficult.”
“What our reaction does,” Frank continues, “is to take two six-membered rings to serve as the first and third rings, and connect them together by a two-carbon unit. Shining ultraviolet light on the resulting molecule creates a new six-membered ring in the middle, using the two-carbon unit and sharing a pair of carbons from each of the first and third rings. Using this approach, synthesizing a three-ring molecule is now much easier than making a two-ring molecule.”
Mallory joins fellow Chemistry Professor Michelle Francl, who was elected in 2009, as an ACS fellow. The Fellows Program was created by the ACS Board of Directors in December 2008 to recognize members of ACS for outstanding achievements in and contributions to science, the profession, and the Society.
Bryn Mawr’s Chemistry Department combines high-quality, visible research programs with excellent teaching. Students have the opportunity to work side by side with faculty as researchers. The chemistry major program of study includes introductory and advanced courses in the core areas of biological, inorganic, organic, and physical chemistry. Advanced courses are informed by the research areas of bioinorganic, nanomaterials, medicinal, computational, organic materials, and nucleic acid and protein chemistry.