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Joe Stuteville
IU School of Informatics

Last modified: Thursday, March 29, 2007

American Chemical Society honors IU chemical informatics pioneer

March 29, 2007

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Gary D. Wiggins, adjunct professor at the Indiana University School of Informatics, is the recipient of the 2007 Patterson-Crane Award from the Columbus and Dayton (Ohio) Sections of the American Chemical Society.

Gary Wiggins

Wiggins, who directs the school's Chemical Informatics Program, is being recognized as one of the earliest librarians to foresee and adopt intensive technological innovations in the field of chemical informatics.

Chemical informatics is the application of computer technology to chemistry in all of its manifestations, particularly in the pharmaceutical industry.

Wiggins headed the IU Chemistry Library for 27 years and is credited with his role in creating and maintaining the Chemical Information Sources Discussion List (CHMINF-L) in 1991. CHMINF-L is one of the longest running listserves in the world, and it serves as the official communications vehicle of the SLA Chemistry Division and other professional groups such as the American Chemical Society, Royal Society of Chemistry and the American Society for Information Science and Technology.

Wiggins is credited with transforming the IU Chemistry Library and helping create one of the finest collections of print and electronic materials in any academic library.

"One of Dr. Wiggins' most enduring legacies is the many students who have completed the Chemical Information Specialist program under his mentorship and who now hold positions in all areas of chemical, pharmaceutical and patent information in corporate, academic, government and non-profit sectors," ACS-Columbus officials noted in announcing the award March 23.

At the School of Informatics and through his association with the Pervasive Technology Labs at IU, Wiggins also was instrumental in helping establish the Chemical Informatics and Cyberinfrastructure Collaboratory. Funded by the National Institutes of Health, the group uses emerging high-capacity computer networks and data repositories and develops grid and Web technology for chemistry research.

The Patterson-Crane Award is named in honor of Austin M. Patterson and E.J. Crane, two former editors of Chemical Abstracts.

Wiggins will receive the award at a special ceremony May 8.