MU researcher to receive National Medal of Science at White House Thursday
COLUMBIA • President Barack Obama on Thursday will award University of Missouri researcher M. Frederick Hawthorne the National Medal of Science.
The National Medal of Science and National Medal of Technology and Innovation are the highest honors awarded by the United States government to scientists, engineers, and inventors. Hawthorne will receive his award along with 20 other recipients.
Hawthorne is the director of the International Institute of Nano and Molecular Medicine at MU and is the school's Curators’ Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Radiology.
Hawthorne was named a National Medal of Science recipient because of his work on the chemical element boron, according to news release from the university. He developed the use of a technique known as Boron Neutron Capture Therapy, which is used in experimental treatments for cancer, arthritis and other diseases. His work with boron also has been used to fight heart disease and Alzheimer’s. He pioneered the use of “boron cages,” chemical structures that can be attached to other compounds and thereby change their physical properties, the university said.