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Introducing the Professor Jay K. Kochi Papers

categories: Finding Aids, University Archives

Professor Jay K. Kochi (1962, Professor Jay K. Kochi Papers)

Professor Jay K. Kochi (1962, Professor Jay K. Kochi Papers)

The University of Houston Special Collections and University Archives are proud to announce the publication of the finding aid for the Professor Jay K. Kochi Papers.

Known as a leader in the field of organic chemistry, Dr. Jay Kazuo Kochi (1927-2008) was born May 17, 1927 in Los Angeles, California.  As WWII raged, Kochi’s family was relocated to an internment camp in Arizona when he was 15.  Kochi would graduate high school in the camp before studying at UCLA (Bachelor of Science, 1949) and Iowa State (Doctorate, 1952).  He worked as an instructor at Harvard (1952-55) and completed a fellowship at Cambridge (1955-56) before going to work as a research scientist in exploratory chemistry for Shell Development Co. (1956-1962).  Kochi would later return to academia, holding positions at Case Institute of Technology (or Case Western Reserve), Indiana University, and finally arriving at the University of Houston in 1984.

Best known for developing a one-carbon oxidative degradation of carboxylic acids known as the Kochi Reaction, his career is marked by accolades and recognition.  A member of National Academy of Sciences, Professor Kochi was also a recipient of the Alexander Von Humbolt U.S. Senior Scientist Award, the American Chemical Society’s Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award, and the James Flack Norris Award.  Inquisitive to the end, Kochi’s continued to contribute his research findings in the field of organic chemistry until his death in 2008 at the age of 81.

Prof. Kochi and others at work in the lab (undated, Professor Jay K. Kochi Papers)

Prof. Kochi and others at work in the lab (undated, Professor Jay K. Kochi Papers)

The University of Houston Special Collections is honored to offer a home for Dr. Kochi’s papers.  As a part of our larger University Archives, the Professor Jay K. Kochi Papers will stand beside the collections of other professors and luminaries who have helped define and guide the University.  Spanning over 120 linear feet, the collection includes research, correspondence, photographs, and publications penned by Kochi.  Those interested in learning more about the life and career of Dr. Kochi should visit our new finding aid for a detailed inventory of the materials included in the collection.  When you are ready to visit, we look forward to assisting you with your research.

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