Thursday, September 20, 2012

Nicolaou to Rice - Official!

KCN, all smiles, after confirming
what we all knew anywa
(Click here for the Rice Press Release, issued Thursday, Sept. 20)

Some interesting tidbits about the move:

- The $6 Million** Dollar Man: No, not Col. Steve Austin...KCN! The figure is accurate, as first reported in the comments of Derek's blog.

- "Formidable Alliance against cancer." K.C. is apparently the crown jewel for an as-yet-unannounced super-team* of scientists. Probably doesn't hurt that M.D. Anderson, a leading Houston hospital, is down the street. The CPRIT file that listed Nicolaou includes funds for 8 other "Established" professors; if Rice gets 'em all, they'll be a force for biomedical research.

- Family Connection: As stated elsewhere (and mentioned through personal communications earlier in the week) the fact that his daughter Colette, a Psychology lecturer, works at Rice certainly factored into the decision.

- Timeline: Looks like the move won't happen immediately. Having announced the move, K.C. now waits for his new lab space to be custom built in the Rice BioScience Research Collaborative. Perhaps he'll have time in the intervening year to write "Classics IV - A New Hope"

*(Update, 9/20 - This presser has to have some of the best superlatives ever used to describe a chemist. In sixteen paragraphs, it calls him "great leader," "legendary," "cancer drug pioneer," "formidable," "prodigious intellect," "distinguished," "super-star researcher," "transformative," and "devot[ed] to the craft of teaching." Wow. Whomever wrote this release, I want them to do my obit someday!)
**(Update, 9/22 - The author of this article points out that K.C.'s total compensation will be closer to 9 million dollars, after Rice raises a $3 million matching fund. Ye Gods.)


  1. Sheridan WhitesideSeptember 20, 2012 10:25 PM

    "Whomever wrote this release, I want them to do my obit someday!"

    The authors initials are KCN.

  2. That money would have been better spent on Baran.

    1. lolololol not even debatable

      kcn was washed up years ago

    2. start thinking for yourself buddy.

  3. KCN still means potassium cyanide.

  4. The actual figure is $9 million. Rice says it must raise $3 million to match the $6 million from CPRIT.

    1. Thanks, Gary! I've added a footnote to the post. Wow, that's a lot for a single prof...don't you think?

    2. It is a lot of money, but Nicolaou certainly has an extraordinary record. It has been a tough period for The Scripps Research Institute. They also lost M.G. Finn.