Julius Stieglitz Lecture

    Professor Julius StieglitzUniversity of Chicago Professor Julius Stieglitz
    and the
    Memorial Stieglitz Lecture

    Since 1940, the University of Chicago Chemistry Department and the Chicago Section of the American Chemical Society have cooperated to hold the Julius Stieglitz Memorial Lecture. Professor Stieglitz was exceptionally committed to both institutions, which is why we hold this event together.


    Stieglitz taught and conducted research at the University for 45 years, serving as Chemistry Department Chair for an extraordinary 18 of them. Starting in 1892 as a docent sustained only by donations from his students, he eventually established a research laboratory and ultimately mentored 166 Ph.D. graduates. A firm believer in the power of chemistry to transform medicine, he spearheaded the merger with Rush Medical College, an initiative of the legendary University President W. R. Harper.


    Stieglitz was a devoted member of the ACS, chairing the Chicago Section, serving as Assistant Editor of JACS, and contributing to numerous committees. Taking the ACS Presidency in 1917, he helped shape the role of American chemistry in WWI, especially with regard to synthetic drugs.


    Stieglitz focused on synthetic organic and medicinal chemistry.

    Professional Timeline

    1867 - 1937
    Birth (Hoboken, NJ) - Death (Chicago, IL)
    1885 - 1889
    Univ. of Berlin, Ph.D. w/ Ferdinand Tiemann
    Univ. of Göttingen w/ Victor Meyer
    1890 - 1892
    Parke-Davis & Co. (Detroit, MI) - Toxicologist
    1892 - 1893
    University of Chicago - Unpaid Docent
    1893 - 1894
    University of Chicago - Assistant
    1894 - 1897
    University of Chicago - Instructor
    1897 - 1902
    University of Chicago - Assistant Professor
    1902 - 1905
    University of Chicago - Associate Professor
    Chicago Section ACS - Chair
    1905 - 1933
    University of Chicago - Professor
    1912 - 1924
    Univ. of Chicago - Director of University Labs
    1912 - 1919
    J. Am. Chem. Soc. - Associate Editor
    1915 - 1933
    University of Chicago - Department Chair
    ACS President
    Willard Gibbs Medalist (Chicago ACS)
    1933 - 1937
    University of Chicago - Professor Emeritus
    ACS Chairman of the Board
    First Memorial Stieglitz Lecture




    Photos from the last Stieglitz Lecture

    Photos from the 2015 Stieglitz Lecture with Laura Kiessling

    Dr. Julius Stieglitz and the Stieglitz Lectures
    by Dr. Jim Shoffner

    (originally published in the November 2012 Chemical Bulletin)

    We have over the years since the Stieglitz lectures were first presented given much of the distinguished history of Dr. Julius Stieglitz’s life and career. What is always very clear is his most significant role in helping to establish the Chicago Section as one of the truly great sections of the American Chemical Society. The story will always deserve retelling, and I will try to do some of it, while bringing it up to date.

    Dr. Julius Stieglitz (1867 – 1937) was a great teacher and a fine organic chemist with a major interest in pharmaceutical and medicinal chemistry. During the early stages of his career, he worked for Parke Davis & Co. in Detroit as a toxicologist. He was born in Hoboken NJ. After attending private and public schools in New York during his early years, both he and his twin brother Leopold were sent to Germany for their higher education. Julius received his doctorate in chemistry from the University of Berlin in 1889.

    Following a short period of study with Victor Meyer at Go╠łttingen, he returned to the U.S. in 1890. In 1892, he came to the University of Chicago as a docent, lecturing without salary, his only compensation coming from student donations. In 1893 he was appointed an assistant professor, and moved up through the ranks to become professor of chemistry in 1905. He served as department chair from 1915 – 1933.

    In 1933, he was named professor emeritus but continued to teach and serve in the department until his death in 1937. His last doctoral student was Herman Bloch, who went on to have a very distinguished career with UOP and served as Board Chair of the American Chemical Society 1973-75. Dr. Stieglitz was very active in ACS, serving as Chicago Section Chair in 1904, and ACS President in 1917. He helped to establish the Willard Gibbs Medal, and received the Gibbs Medal himself in 1923. He received honorary doctorates from Clark University (D.Sc.), the University of Pittsburgh (Ph.D.).

    The first Stieglitz Lecture was given using funds dedicated in his memorial legacy in 1940. The lecture was presented alternatively by the University of Chicago Chemistry department and the Chicago Section in consecutive years until 1994. There was a pause in presentation from 1994 until 1999 until the funds built up to a level where they were sufficient to support a stipend of $1000 plus expenses for each year. We are pleased to present [in 2012, ed.] Prof. Joseph DeSimone, Chancellor’s Eminent Professor of Chemistry at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte and the William R. Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering at North Carolina State University– Raleigh as our Stieglitz Lecturer for 2012.

    Stieglitz Lecture Committee

    The Julius Stieglitz Lecture, named for the former chairman of the Chemistry Department at the University of Chicago and former Chair of the Chicago Section, is given annually by a renowned chemist in the field of chemistry, particularly organic chemistry.  The Section and the University are responsible in alternate years for choosing the lecturer and making arrangements; https://chicagoacs.org/stieglitz_lecture.

    Stieglitz Lecture Committee Chair

    Josh W Kurutz

    List of Stieglitz Lecturers

    Edward A. Doisy 1940
    Fred C. Koch
    Carl S. Marvel 1943
    Linus Pauling 1944
    William Draper Harkins 1945
    Don M. Yost 1946
    Dorothy Wrinch 1947
    Vincent du Vigneaud 1948
    E. S. Cohn 1949
    Herman I. Schlesinger 1950
    Christopher K. Ingold 1950
    Robert B. Woodward 1952
    Frank R. Mayo 1953
    Paul D. Bartlett 1954
    Frank C. Westheimer 1956
    Henry B. Hass 1957
    Herbert C. Brown 1958
    H. A. Lardy 1959
    Louis P. Hammett 1960
    Nelson J. Leonard 1962
    William S. Johnson 1963
    Paul Doty 1964
    Charles C. Price 1965
    H. Gobind Khorana 1966
    William von Eggers Doering 1967
    George Hammond 1968
    D. J. Cram 1969
    Jerome A. Berson 1970
    Carl Djerassi 1971
    Jerrold Meinwald 1972
    Andrew Streitwieser 1973
    Derek H. R.Barton 1974
    E. J. Corey 1975
    Bengt Samuelson 1976
    James Collman 1977
    Joseph Chatt 1978
    Gilbert Stork 1979
    Robert H. Abeles 1980
    Barry Trost 1980
    Roald Hoffman 1981
    Yoshita Kishi 1982
    David Evans 1983
    W. Clark Still 1984
    Malcolm Green 1985
    Ronald A. Hites 1988
    R. Ernst 1989
    George Olah 1990
    George Whitesides 1991
    William Jorgenson 1992
    Peter Kim 1993
    Tobin Marks 1994
    Frederic Menger 1999
    Joanna Fowler 2000
    Patrick Gruber 2002
    Eric Jacobsen 2003
    Eloy Rodriguez 2004
    Amos B. Smith, III 2005
    Samuel Danishefsky 2006
    Jean Frechet 2008
    Joan F. Brennecke 2008
    Erick M. Carreira 2010
    Jonathan A. Ellman 2011
    Joseph DeSimone 2012
    Nadrian C. Seeman 2014
    Laura L. Kiessling 2015
    Andrew J. Meyers 2016
    Thomas J. Meade 2016
     Dale Boger 2017