Researcher biography

Professor Virgil Percec was born and educated in Romania (PhD in 1976 with C.I. Simionescu at the Polytechnic University in Jassy). In 1981 he defected his native country and after short postdoctoral stays at the University of Freiburg in Germany (with H.-J. Cantow) and University of Akron (with J.P. Kennedy) he joined the Department of Macromolecular Science of Case Western Reserve University in 1982 as an Assistant Professor. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 1984 and to Professor in 1986. In 1993 he was awarded the Leonard Case Jr. Chair at Case Western Reserve University and in 1999 he moved to the University of Pennsylvania as P. Roy Vagelos Chair and Professor of Chemistry.

He has been repeatedly a visiting professor at the Universities of Freiburg, Ulm and at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research in Mainz (all in Germany) and at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm.

His list of awards includes Honorary Foreign Member to the Romanian Academy (1993), Humboldt Award (1997), NSF Research Award for Creativity in Research (1990, 1995, 2000), PTN Polymer Award from the Netherlands (2002), the ACS Award in Polymer Chemistry (2004), the Staudinger medal from ETH (2005), Doctor Honoris Causa from Polytechnic University, Iasi (2007) and University of Athens, Greece (2007), The International Award of the Society of Polymar Science, Japan (2007), The H.F. Mark Medal from the Austrian Institute for Science and Technology, Vienna (2008). He was elected Fellow of IUPAC (2001), PMSE Division of ACS (2003) and AAAS (2004).

Professor Percec chaired and organised numerous symposia including the US-Japan Seminar on Polymer Synthesis (1993), the first European (1997) and the US (1998) Gordon Research Conferences on Polymers and many international Symposia including IUPAC Symposia on Macromolecules.

Professor Percec’s research interest is at the interface between organic, supramolecular, macromolecular chemistry, liquid crystals, nanoscience and biology where he contributed over 650 refereed publications, 50 patents, 12 books and over 1000 endowed, invited and plenary lectures including The Raychem Lecturer at UC Berkeley (1996), The Aggarwal Lecture at Cornell (1997), The Organic Synthesis Lecturer at Colorado State University (2002), The Woodward Lecture “Frontiers in Chemical Sciences” at Harvard University (2004), The 7th Rohm and Haas Lecture at UC Berkeley (2005), The Staudinger-Durrer Lecture at ETH (2005), The Charles Williams Murtiashaw II Lecture at University of South Carolina (2006), The Foster Chemistry Lecture at SUNY, Buffalo, NY (2006), The Distinguished Lecturer at National Institute of Standard and Technology (2007), The New Journal of Chemistry Endowed Plenary Lecture at IDS-5, Bordeaux (2007), The G.S. Whitby Memorial Lecturer at the University of Akron (2008). He is the editor of the Journal of Polymer Science: Part A: Polymer Chemistry (since 1996) and of the Book Series “Liquid Crystals” (since 2007). Professor Percec serves on the Editorial and Advisory Boards of 20 International Journals, on the Scientific Advisory Board of Symyx Company, Henkel Company, Molecular Foundry, Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. He is a consultant to numerous US and International Companies and Governmental Offices.