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Edward Leete Award


To recognize outstanding contributions to teaching and research in Organic Chemistry


The award will be presented no more than biennially during the fall national meeting of the American Chemical Society. The Award consists of a $1,500 cash prize. The winner of this award and of the Gassman Award are the only two awards actually selected by the Organic Division.


The award is named in honor of Edward Leete who, through his contributions to science and education, fostered an appreciation and love for organic chemistry. The award was endowed by contributions from Professor Leete’s students and colleagues.

Jeff Aube, PhD


Jeffrey Aubé (The 2017 Awardee)

Jeffrey Aubé received his BS from the University of Miami, where he did undergraduate research with Professor Robert Gawley. He received his Ph.D. in chemistry in 1984 from Duke University, working with Professor Steven Baldwin, and was an NIH postdoctoral fellow at Yale University with Professor Samuel Danishefsky. From 1986 until 2015, he held a faculty position in the Department of Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Kansas. In 2015, he retired from KU and moved to the University of North Carolina, where he is an Eshelman Distinguished Professor in the Division of Chemical Biology and Medicinal Chemistry. In addition to holding a joint appointment in the Department of Chemistry, Aubé is a member of the Center for Integrative Chemical Biology and Drug Discovery and the Lineberger Cancer Center.

Aubé’s research interests lie in the chemistry of heterocyclic compounds and their applications to problems in medicinal organic chemistry. One of his group’s signature accomplishments was the discovery, with Greg Milligan, of the intramolecular Schmidt reaction. Some current interests in bioorganic chemistry include collaborations in opioid pharmacology (with Laura Bohn), steroid biosynthesis inhibitors (with Emily Scott), and in the discovery of anti-tuberculosis agents (with Carl Nathan).

Professor Aubé enjoyed a life-long collaboration with his undergraduate mentor, Bob Gawley, which included co-authorship of the graduate text “Principles of Asymmetric Synthesis”, currently in its second edition and, with Professor Oliver Reiser of the University of Regensburg, the development of a trans-Atlantic dual undergraduate degree program. The “Atlantis” program was jointly funded by the US Department of Education and the European Commission’s Directorate General for Education and Culture and mobilized undergraduate students to study at KU, the Universities of Arkansas and Regensburg, and Dublin City University. This program was recognized by the award of the Nikolai N. Khaladjan International Award for Innovation in Higher Education in 2008. Aubé received several teaching awards at KU, including the university-wide HOPE Award and the Kemper Fellowship for Teaching Excellence at KU. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Chemical Society.


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