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The 2009 Ryoji Noyori Prize, sponsored by Takasago international Corp. and administered by The Society of Synthetic Organic Chemistry (Japan), has been awarded to Yoshio Okamoto, emeritus professor, Nagoya University, Japan and chair professor, Harbin Engineering University, China. The honor recognizes "outstanding contributions to research in asymmetric synthetic chemistry defined in its broadest sense without regard to age or nationality."
Okamoto's work has focused on the synthesis of helical polymers and their application to chiral separation of comenantiomers, according to the award announcement. The announcement continues, "He was the first to succeed in the synthesis of one-handed helical polymer by asymmetric polymerization, and found its high chiral recognition ability to many racemic compounds. Using the polymer, he successfully developed a practical chiral packing material for HPLC. His other outstanding contribution is the development of very useful chiral packing materials based on helical polysaccharide derivatives, which are widely used throughout the world."
The Ryoji Noyori Prize comprises a certificate, medallion and $10,000, and commemorates professor Ryoji Noyori's winning of the 2001 Nobel Prize in Chemistry as well as the 60th anniversary of the Society.