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Nobel laureate, former UD professor dies at 84

Nobel laureate and former University of Delaware professor Richard Heck died at his home this past week.

Heck earned the prestigious Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2010 with two others after developing a novel way to connect carbon atoms with metal palladium.

The discovery, known as the “Heck Reaction,” is used in pharmaceuticals and DNA sequencing – making it possible to completely map the human genome.

In a statement, Gov. Jack Markell (D) said, “His family and friends can find comfort in knowing future generations will continue to benefit from the findings of his research and his memory will live on in the work of those he inspired during his tenure at UD.”

Born in Springfield, Massachusetts, Heck earned his undergraduate and doctorate degrees at UCLA in the 1950s.

He then worked at the Hercules Chemical Company in Wilmington before eventually joining the UD faculty in 1971.

Heck died at his home in Manila Friday. He was 84.