2001 Herman Skolnik Award: Guenter Grethe

Born and raised in Germany, Guenter Grethe obtained his Ph. D. from the Technical University of Braunschweig in 1961 with a thesis on the total synthesis of tetracycline antibiotics with Professor H. Muxfeldt. After two years of postgraduate studies at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Guenter joined Hoffmann-La Roche, Nutley, NJ, as a research chemist. A one-year sabbatical in 1972 at Princeton University with Professor Todd Wipke introduced him to the use of computers in chemistry, specifically in the field of synthesis planning. This experience led Guenter to introduce early versions of MDL's MACCS and REACCS software at La Roche, and to becoming responsible for the CASP program in Nutley.

After 22 years with Roche, he joined MDL Information Systems, Inc. in 1985 where he holds the position of director, scientific software applications in the marketing department. Guenter's main interests are in the area of reaction databases and reaction data management software and applications. He has been especially concerned with enhancing the competency of synthetic chemists using electronic tools in their everyday work. Integration of data and user-friendly access has played a significant role in his work.

Guenter has published extensively and has given presentations at national and international scientific meetings on topics in synthetic chemistry and the areas of reaction data management. He was the originator of over twenty patents while working at Roche. He is a member of the Society of German Chemists (GDCh) and the American Chemical Society (ACS) and several of its divisions (CINF, COMP, MEDI, and ORGN). Over the last fifteen years, Guenter has been very active in the CINF Division organizing symposia, being a member of the Program and Education Committees, Program Chair and Chair of the Division. He initiated and organized the first National Chemical Information Symposium n 1994, was chairman of the International Conference on Chemical Structures in 1996 and 1999, and will chair the same conference in 2002. Guenter organized a symposium at Pacifichem2000 and an interdivisional Biotechnology Secretariat symposium at the ACS meeting in San Diego in 2001. He is presently Secretary General of the Biotechnology Secretariat of ACS and chairman of the Chemical Structure Association Trust.

(taken from the program for the Herman Skolnik Symposium in 2001)