DONALD CRAM Biography - Famous Scientists


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Name:  Donald James Cram                                                                 
Born: (April 22, 1919)                                                                   
Died: (June 17, 2001)                                                                     
Donald James Cram (April 22, 1919 - June 17, 2001) was an American chemist who           
shared the 1987 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for ‚Äúsynthesizing 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 born in Chester, Vermont, and died in Palm Desert, California.                   
Cram was educated at Rollins College, Florida, and at the University of Nebraska         
- Lincoln, 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.                               
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 also did work in stereochemistry and           
Cram's rule of asymmetric induction is named after him.