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American Institute of Chemists Gold Medal

The American Institute of Chemists (AIC) Gold Medal recognizes extraordinary accomplishments in chemistry or chemical engineering in the United States.

First presented in 1926, previous winners include Nobel laureates Glenn T. Seaborg, Herbert C. Brown, Elizabeth Blackburn, and Dudley Herschbach, as well as renowned researchers Chad A. Mirkin, Mary Lowe Good, Steven J. Lippard, Jacqueline Barton, and George M. Whitesides.

The AIC Gold Medal has been presented jointly with the Science History Institute since 2003. This year’s medal was presented on Wednesday, May 11, 2022, as part of our annual Heritage Day Awards.

Watch the AIC Gold Medal presentation to Brian Hoffman here:

2022 Medalist: Brian Hoffman


Brian Hoffman headshot

Courtesy of Brian Hoffman

Brian Hoffman is a professor of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences at Northwestern University. His research interests have included electron paramagnetic resonance and electron-nuclear double resonance (ENDOR) spectroscopy of metalloenzymes, long-range electron transfer within protein complexes, and new porphyrazine metallomacrocycles. He has authored more than 650 technical publications in these areas.

The major themes in his recent ENDOR studies include nitrogen fixation (the reduction of N2 to 2NH3) by nitrogenase and the activation of S-adenosyl methionine (SAM) for H-atom abstraction in “Radical-SAM” enzymes.

Hoffman received a BS in chemistry from the University of Chicago in 1962 and his PhD from the California Institute of Technology in 1966 under the guidance of Harden McConnell. In 1966–1967 he held a postdoctoral fellowship with Alex Rich at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He joined Northwestern as an assistant professor in 1967, was associate professor from 1971 to 1974, was promoted to full professor in 1974, and is currently the Charles E. and Emma H. Morrison Professor of Chemistry.

Honors and Awards:

  • Alfred P. Sloan Fellow (1971–1973)
  • National Institutes of Health Career Development Award (1972–1977)
  • E. Leon Watkins Visiting Professor, Wichita State University (1981)
  • Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science (1983)
  • FMC Lecturer, Princeton University (1988)
  • Dow Research Professor of Chemistry (1990–1992)
  • Reilly Lecturer, University of Notre Dame (1996)
  • Bruker Prize for ESR, Royal Society of Chemistry (1997)
  • Gold Medal International EPR Society (IES) (1999)
  • Siedel Lecturer, Indiana University (2000)
  • Blacet Lecturer, University of California, Los Angeles (2000)
  • Fellow, American Academy of Arts & Sciences (2002)
  • Member, National Academy of Sciences (2006)
  • Zavoisky Prize, Russian Academy of Sciences (2007)
  • Charles E. and Emma H. Morrison Professor of Chemistry (2007)
  • Frontiers in Biological Chemistry Award, Max Planck Society (2008)
  • Fellow, International Society of Magnetic Resonance (ISMAR) (2009)
  • ACS Alfred Bader Award in Bioinorganic or Bioorganic Chemistry (2012)
  • RSC Joseph Chatt Award (2012)
  • ACS F.A. Cotton Medal for Excellence in Chemical Research (2013)
  • Fellow, International EPR/ESR Society (2015)
  • Robert Burns Woodward Career Award in Porphyrin Chemistry (SPP, for 2020)
  • American Institute of Chemists Gold Medal (2022)

Previous Winners of the AIC Gold Medal

For a full list of winners of the AIC Gold Medal going back to 1926, visit the AIC’s website.

About the American Institute of Chemists (AIC)

From its earliest days in 1923 to the present, the American Institute of Chemists has fostered the advancement of the chemical profession in the United States.

The AIC has a corresponding dedication “to promote and protect the public welfare; to establish and maintain standards of practice for these professions; and to promote the professional experience through certification as to encourage competent and efficient service.”