Meredith Chapman, a spokeswoman for the university, confirmed early Wednesday that Heck had won. Heck and Japanese researchers Ei-ichi Negishi and Akira Suzuki won the prize for developing a chemical method that has allowed scientists to test cancer drugs and make thinner computer screens.
University of Delaware President Patrick Harker says the school is "exceptionally proud" of Heck.
Klaus Theopold, chair of the department of chemistry and biochemistry, called the news "absolutely wonderful" and said the department may have a party to celebrate.
Theopold says the university began a lecture series six years ago in honor of Heck's contributions to the field of chemistry. Heck retired from the school in 1989.