Full Professor, Department of Chemistry,
University of California, San Diego
the synthesis of organic compounds under primitive earth conditions and the origin of life, the natural occurrence of clathrate hydrates on the earth and other parts of the solar system and the mechanism of action of general anesthethics with particular reference to possible clathrate hydrate formation and to alteration of water structure near the nerve.
In l953, he showed that amino acids can be synthesized by sparking a mixture of methane, ammonia, water and hydrogen and that such syntheses would have taken place on the primitive Earth when it had an atmosphere of these gases. Such syntheses would have formed the basis for the development of the first living organisms.
- Phi Beta Kappa
- Sigma Xi
- National Academy of Sciences
- Honorary Councilor of the Higher Council for Scientific Research of Spain (1973)
- Oparin Medal from the International Society for the Study of the Origin of Life (ISSOL), (1983).