Meeting/Event Information

    108th Gibbs Award Ceremony - Prof. Marcetta Darensbourg

    May 03, 2019
    4:00 PM - 10:00 PM
     Add to Calendar

    Sheraton Lisle
    3000 Warrenville Rd
    Lisle, IL 60532



    108th Willard Gibbs Award Ceremony

    Dr. Marcetta Y. Darensbourg

    - Distinguished Professor of Chemistry -
    Texas A&M University

    Stalking "Free" Energy: Biomimetic Studies of Hydrogenases


    For lifelong accomplishments in inorganic chemistry, including:

    • control of metal carbonyl anion structure and reactivity
    extensive work in synthesizing complexes that serve as models for hydrogenase enzymes
    introduction of novel catalysts for hydrogen production


    From lessons learned of the most fundamental chemistry of metal-carbon bonds in organolithium compounds and transition metal carbonyls, the last half-century has provided this organometallic chemist with the background to contribute to the understanding of hydrogenases, H2ases. As nature’s masterpiece enzymes for hydrogen production or activation, and its use as an energy vector in hundreds of microorganisms, an array of enzymatic and spectroscopic probes, crowned by modern protein X-ray diffraction technology, have defined the intricate H2-ase active site molecular machinery. The translation of air and light-sensitive organometallics with structural features of the hydrogenase active sites into proton reduction electrocatalysts has offered a platform for synthesis development of biological catalysts akin to that of organic chemists in the realm of natural products for the pharmaceutical industry. This new field of bioorganometallic chemistry is promoted by the need for abundant first row transition metals (as replacements for platinum) electrocatalysts for hydrogen production that might be linked to a renewable energy source, i.e., solar electrons. This lecture will focus on key questions in a structure-function analysis of bioinspired electrocatalysts for the Hydrogen Evolution Reaction.


    • 9:25 - 4:00  Symposium honoring Prof. Darensbourg, featuring her colleagues and former students
                          (separate registration with GLRM required until 4 PM::
    • 4:00 - 5:00  Gibbs Medalist's lecture
    • 6:00 - 6:30  Reception 
    • 6:30 +         Dinner & Awards Program


    Introductory Speaker: Tobin Marks, Northwestern University
    Gibbs Medal Presenter: Bonnie Charpentier, President of the American Chemical Society


    When registering, please choose between the Meat or Vegetarian options. If you are choosing meat, please email or call the Chicago Section office at [email protected] or 847-391-9091 with your choice of chicken or beef. Thank you.

    Filet of Beef
    Napa Chicken

    Penne Pasta


    Dinner Registration Deadline: 12:00 Noon on Monday, April 29
    Lecture-only Registration Deadline: 12:00 noon Tuesday, April 30

    QUESTIONS OR NON-WEB RESERVATIONS?  Please contact the Section Office via phone (847-391-9091) or email ([email protected]).


    Professor Marcetta Y. Darensbourg is a native of Kentucky, USA, with an undergraduate studies at Union College, Barbourville, Ky., and a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois.  Following academic posts at Vassar College and Tulane University, she joined the faculty at Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, in 1982.  She holds the title of Distinguished Professor of Chemistry.  Trained as an organometallic chemist in the laboratories of Professor Theodore L. Brown, and with earlier research programs in low valent transition metal hydrides, the possibility of metal hydrides in nature, specifically as intermediates in hydrogenase enzymes lured her into the new field of bioorganometallic chemistry.  She has been a leader in the development of synthetic analogues of the diiron and nickel-iron hydrogenase active sites and the insight they bring to the catalytic mechanism of these natural fuel cell catalysts.  Metalloenzyme active sites that catalyze carbon-carbon coupling reactions but use abundant metals such as nickel also inspire her research activities.

    Marcetta was an inaugural, 2009, Fellow of the American Chemical Society. Dr. Darensbourg was also elected as a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2011, to the Royal Society of Chemistry in 2014, and the National Academy of Sciences in 2017. Most recently, she was selected by the Southeastern Conference as the 2018 SEC Professor of the Year.


    Sheraton Lisle
    3000 Warrenville Rd
    Lisle, IL 60532

    Map & Directions:

    PARKING: free in hotel lot



    $0.00 MAIN SITE - Lecture only registration

    $0.00 Individual Donation (flexible amount)

    $0.00 Company Sponsorship (flexible amount)

    $0.00 Donation to Project SEED (flexible amount)

    $15.00 T-shirt: CHICAgO Elements

    $10.00 Tote bag: CHICAgO elements - blue