The Heck Lectureship was created in 2004 to recognize visionary leadership in the field of organometallic chemistry, and to honor the contributions of Richard F. Heck. Heck is best known for developing the palladium-mediated coupling of an aryl halide or vinylic halide with an alkene, the reaction that bears his name. His early mechanistic studies led to the current understanding of the Pd(0)/Pd(II) cycle of oxidative addition and reductive elimination, by which carbon-X bonds are catalytically converted to carbon-carbon and carbon-hetero bonds. His investigations laid the groundwork for many of the catalytic organometallic bond forming processes currently in use in modern organic synthesis.

Richard Heck retired in 1989 from the University of Delaware, where he is the Willis F. Harrington Professor Emeritus.  The Heck Lecture has been made possible through the generous support of the College of Arts and Sciences.


2004, Richard F. Heck, University of Delaware

2005, Stephen L. Buchwald, MIT

2006, Robert H. Grubbs, Caltech

2007, Robert G. Bergman, UC Berkeley

2008, Larry Overman, UC Irvine

2009, Barry Trost, Stanford

2010, John Hartwig, Illinois

2011, Ei-ichi Negishi, Purdue

2012, Eric N. Jacobsen, Harvard

2013, Greg Fu, Caltech

2014, Donald Darensbourg, Texas A&M

2015, Melanie Sanford, Michigan

2016, Scott Denmark, UIUC

2017, Michael Krische, UT Austin

2018, Karen Goldberg, U Penn

2019, Tamejiro Hiyama, Kyoto University, Chuo University

2023, Matthew Sigman, University of Utah



Richard F. Heck Lectureship