Professor Burke becomes the 12th recipient of the prize, and joins a select group of scientists under the age of 40 whose research has had a major impact on the field of synthetic organic chemistry. The prize, which is presented every two years and includes an award of €5000, will be given to Martin Burke on 1 July 2014 at the ICOS-20 conference in Budapest, Hungary, after his Thieme–IUPAC lecture.
Martin Burke completed his undergraduate degree in chemistry at Johns Hopkins University in 1998, a Ph.D. in organic synthesis as a Howard Hughes Medical Institutes Graduate Fellow under the direction of Professor Stuart Schreiber at Harvard University in 2003, and an M.D. as a National Institutes of Health Fellow at Harvard Medical School in 2005—an unusual distinction for an organic chemist. That same year he began his independent career as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In 2009 his lab joined the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, in 2011 he was promoted to Associate Professor with indefinite tenure, and in 2013 he was promoted to the rank of Full Professor. Professor Burke’s research focuses on the synthesis and study of small molecules that perform protein-like functions.