Ralph Franz Hirschmann
Award Name : National Medal of Science
Year of Award : 2000
Award for : Chemistry
Location : Furth im Wald, Bavaria, Germany
Ralph Franz Hirschmann was a German American biochemist who led a team that was responsible for the first organic synthesis of anenzyme, a ribonuclease. He was born on May 6, 1922 in Furth, Bavaria, Germany. He he received a bachelor of arts degree in 1943. Upon graduation he joined the U.S. Army and in 1944 he became a naturalized citizen. Hirschmann then studied organic chemistry under the guidance of American chemist William S. Johnson at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, earning a doctorate degree in 1950.
Hirschmann’s career, he wrote or cowrote more than 200 scientific papers. He also received numerous awards and honours, including several from the American Chemical Society (ACS), such as the Alfred Burger Award in Medicinal Chemistry (1994) and the Arthur C. Cope Award (1999). He received the National Medal of Science (2000), awarded to him by U.S. Pres. Bill Clinton, and the American Institute of Chemists Gold Medal Award (2003). Hirschmann was inducted into the ACS Medicinal Chemistry Hall of Fame in 2007. An award established in his name in 1988—the ACS Ralph F. Hirschmann Award in Peptide Chemistry was sponsored by Merck Research Laboratories and was given to individuals who make outstanding contributions to the fields of chemistry, biochemistry, orbiophysics.