Photo of Peter J. Stang

Peter J. Stang

  • National Medal of Science
  • Chemistry

For his creative contributions to the development of organic supramolecular chemistry and for his outstanding and unique record of public service.

Peter Stang on working in the lab

In an interview he conducted after winning the 2013 Priestley Medal for a lifetime of stellar work in chemistry, Peter Stang likened his research to putting together pieces from a Lego toy set.

But his pioneering work in supramolecular chemistry isn’t child’s play. Supramolecular chemistry — the spontaneous formation of complex molecules from predesigned, simple molecules — has had applications ranging from developing new drugs to more efficiently producing gasoline, the American Chemical Society said.

Stang has said the science will have a big impact on nanotechnology and biomedicine.

Stang was born in Germany and raised in Hungary. His family fled Hungary in 1956 as the Soviet Union was putting down the Hungarian uprising and settled in the U.S. Stang received a doctorate in chemistry from the University of California at Berkeley.

He joined the faculty at the University of Utah in 1969, and has had stints as chairman of the school’s chemistry department and as dean of the College of Science.

Stang has been elected to the National Academy of Science and has also served as editor of the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

By Robert Warren