Nobel Prize winner Prof Bernard Lucas “Ben” Feringa receives honorary degree from UJ

Nobel Prize winner Prof Bernard Lucas “Ben” Feringa receives honorary degree from UJ


Publishing Date: 4/1/2019 1:00 PM

The University of Johannesburg (UJ) will on Tuesday, 2 April 2019 bestow an Honoris Causa degree on the 2016 Nobel Prize winner Professor Bernard Feringa in recognition of his sterling international recognition in Chemistry.

The honorary doctorate also demonstrates the Faculty’s appreciation for and recognition of his discovery in 1999 of ‘molecular motors’ that can transport themselves through the bloodstream in order to deliver drugs to previously unreachable locations in the human body, with a high degree of accuracy.

Says Professor Debra Meyer, the Executive Dean of Science at UJ, “As a synthetic organic chemist, Prof Feringa’s mission of serving humanity through innovation is in line with that of the University. His molecular motors for drug delivery is undeniably unique and innovative, and promises to revolutionize treatment options for various diseases. In addition his values of imagination and engaging meaningfully with others, are in line with those of UJ, and is credited for why so many postgraduate students comment on their experience of his supervision as making science accessible and tangible’, and thereby contributing to a preferred student experience, something we as an institution also espouse as our claim to fame.”

Prof Feringa's research has been recognized by the conferral of a number of awards including the Koerber European Science Award (2003), the Spinoza Award (2004), the Prelog gold medal (2005), the Norrish Award of the ACS (2007), the Paracelsus medal (2008), the Chirality medal (2009),the RSC Organic Stereochemistry Award (2011), Humboldt Award (2012), the Grand Prix Scientifique Cino del Duca (French Academy 2012), the Marie Curie medal (2013) and the Nagoya Gold Medal (2013). Prof Feringa’s interest includes stereochemistry, organic synthesis, asymmetric catalysis, optopharma, molecular switches and motors, self-assembly and molecular nanosystems.

“Prof Feringa has an undoubtedly stellar career and we envision, that in the Faculty he will serve as motivator to up and coming researchers, an advisor in research fields already under development within the faculty (which coincidentally are directly in line with his areas of interest), and an overall indicator of what hard work and dedicated science can achieve. He has my highest recommendation for an honorary doctorate in our Faculty.”


The Department of Chemical Sciences at the Faculty of Science will be hosting two public lectures presented by Professor Feringa on the 2nd and 3rd  of April 2019 at 13:00 - 14:00 at Protea Auditorium, School of Tourism and Hospitality, University of Johannesburg Bunting Campus, Bunting Road, Auckland Park. 


 Prof Bernard Lucas “Ben” Feringa