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Home / News / Education / SIX YEARS WORK LANDS UHCL CHEM PROFESSOR HIGH PRAISE & PROSE AWARD

SIX YEARS WORK LANDS UHCL CHEM PROFESSOR HIGH PRAISE & PROSE AWARD

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By University Of Houston Clear Lake
HOUSTON, March 7, 2018 — University of Houston-
Clear Lake Professor of Chemistry Daniel Zerong Wang
is recipient of a 2018 PROSE Award, the Association of
American Publishers’ highest honors for professional and
scholarly works.
Wang won the award in the category of Multivolume
Reference/Science for the “Encyclopedia of Physical Organic
Chemistry,” published by the prestigious John Wiley
& Sons, Inc. in 2017. Wang who served as editor-in-chief
of the project, shares the award with co-editors Uta Wille,
an associate professor at the University of Melbourne,
Australia, and Eusebio Juaristi, a chemistry professor at
Mexico’s Center for Research and Advanced Studies of
the National Polytechnic Institute in Mexico City.
The encyclopedia provides the most comprehensive
references available to physical organic chemistry, including
the methodology and techniques. It puts the
discipline into the context of modern and dynamic fields
such as biochemistry, materials science and molecular
electronics.
Its six volumes took about six years to produce, Wang
said. “I spent nearly one year developing the table of contents,”
he said, and added that it wasn’t a task he had
intended to tackle.
In 2009, Wiley published the professor’s three-volume
compendium on named organic reactions. “Due to the
success of that book, in 2011, I received call from the editor
at Wiley who spent a half hour to convince me to develop
this encyclopedia.”
Wang was tapped as editor-in-chief with four associate
editors. Each editor was responsible for at least one
of the encyclopedia’s volumes. Because of the extensive
nature of the project, two editors bailed early. Juaristi had
to quit midway but is still listed as co-editor.
Wang juggled the project while teaching classes and
pursuing his own research interests. “I sent out 10 to 20
emails a day to solicit potential authors,” he said.
Wang had to put much of his own research on hold as
he edited highly technical manuscripts, some of them
multiple times. “I had to step in and take over all responsibility
assigned to those three associate editors.”
Still, Wang has another book in the works: a reference
on amino acids. “It will be the first of its kind to summarize
all potentials of using amino acid as the starting materials
in organic synthesis,” he said.
Since 1976, the annual PROSE Awards have recognized
outstanding professional and scholarly publishing
by bringing attention to distinguished books and journals.
In recent years it has added electronic content into consideration.
Submissions are reviewed by a panel of 18
judges – editors, academics, publishers and research
librarians who evaluate each work for its contribution to
publishing.
In 2017, Wang received the UHCL President’s Distinguished
Research Award for a body of work that also included
10 books, two patents, 25 peer-reviewed articles
and 20 research grants. He received his doctorate from
Shanghai Institute of Organic Chemistry, Chinese Academy
of Science.

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