Ronald Breslow, Samuel Latham Mitchill Professor of Chemistry at Columbia University, has been awarded the Swiss Chemical Society's 1990 Paracelsus Prize, named in honor of the 16th-century Swiss chemist, surgeon, and philosopher.

The prize, first awarded in 1941, is given biannually by the Basel, Switzerland-based society and honors leading scientists in the field of chemistry. Accompanying the prize is an award of 20,000 Swiss francs ($12,000).

Breslow, 59, was cited for his contributions to bioorganic and synthetic organic chemistry. He is only the third scientist from the United States to win the Paracelsus Prize (along with Harvard University chemists E.J. Corey and Frank Westheimer).

In the mid-1960s, Breslow coined the phrase "biomimetic chemistry" to describe a discipline in which scientists create new molecules that imitate some of the most important features of natural enzymes, the catalysts that regulate many vital chemical reactions in the body. In particular, his research has...

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