Madeline Joullie

Madeleine Joullie’s (University of Pennsylvania) research encompasses a wide range of interests in synthetic organic chemistry including heterocyclic and medicinal chemistry. She is particularly focused on the synthesis and chemistry of five-membered heterocycles and natural products containing such units, the synthesis and chemistry of fungal metabolites, cyclopeptide alkaloids as well as the synthesis of biologically important depsipeptides, novel ninhydrins; and anti- angiogenic agents. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Chemical Heritage Foundation.

Marjorie Caserio

Marjorie Caserio (UCSD), co-author of the immensely important text Modern Organic Chemistry with John D. Roberts, was engaged in teaching and research at the University of California Irvine for 25 years. In 1990, she became Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs at University of California San Diego. In 1995 she served as interim Chancellor at UCSD prior to retiring in 1996. She has served for many years as a consultant to the American Chemical Society on graduate education..

Mike Doyle

Michael P. Doyle (Professor, University of Maryland) is the developer of “Doyle catalysts” – chiral dirhodium carboxamidates that are the most effective catalysts for highly stereoselective intramolecular reactions of diazoacetates that include C-H insertion and cyclopropanation. The fixed stereodefined geometry of these catalysts provides access to highly enantioenriched products in metal carbene reactions and, together with their low oxidation potentials, also affords capabilities for highly selective Lewis acid catalyzed reactions and efficient chemical oxidations with high turnover numbers and high selectivities. His research has encompassed physical organic chemistry, synthetic method development, the bioinorganic chemistry of nitrogen oxides and nitrosyls, and asymmetric syntheses.

Peter Stang

Peter Stang (University of Utah) is Editor in Chief of ‘The Journal of the American Chemical Society’ and previously served as Editor in Chief of ‘The Journal of Organic Chemistry.’ His primary focus of research is molecular architecture and supramolecular chemistry via self-assembly. He also continues to study reactive unsaturated intermediates such as vinyl cations. He also has an interest in biochemistry, in particular examining tPQQ-sequestering and protease and phosphotriesterase inhibition.

Richmond Sarpong

Richmond Sarpong (University of California at Berkeley) is interested in the development of new strategies and methods for the synthesis of complex, biologically active, compounds. His research group has made notable contributions to the synthesis of alkaloid natural products and in the development of metal-mediated methods for natural product synthesis. Richmond has been recognized as a Camille Dreyfus Teacher Scholar and received the UC Berkeley Department of Chemistry teaching award in 2009.

Ronald Breslow

Ronald Breslow (Columbia University), a former President of the American Chemical Society, has made significant contributions to fundamental chemistry, for example, in the study of antiaromatic compounds and also bioorganic chemistry. Currently, he is trying to prepare artificial enzymes that can imitate the function of natural enzymes. Breslow is involved in the synthesis of mimics of antibodies or of biological receptor sites, for example, for modulating the activity of peptide hormones. He also has a long-standing program to develop novel compounds that can induce cells to differentiate. These have important potential in cancer treatment and are now in human trials.

Stephan Hanessian

Stephen Hanessian (University of Montreal, and the University of California, Irvine), has a wide cross-section of interests in organic, bioorganic and medicinal chemistry. His teachings of the simplification of structural and stereochemical complexity in organic synthesis as seen through the mind’s eye, and adopting the Chiron Approach, are pedagogically enlightening and practically useful. In 2012, he was the recipient of the ACS Ernest Guenther Award in Natural Products and the Richter IUPAC Medicinal Chemistry Prize.

Virginia Cornish

Virginia W. Cornish graduated summa cum laude from Columbia University with a B.A. in Biochemistry in 1991, where she did undergraduate research with Professor Ronald Breslow. She earned her Ph.D. in Chemistry with Professor Peter Schultz at the University of California at Berkeley and then was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Biology Department at M.I.T. under the guidance of Professor Robert Sauer. Virginia joined the faculty of the Chemistry Department at Columbia in 1999, where she carries out research at the interface of chemistry and biology, and was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 2004 and then Professor in 2007. Her laboratory brings together modern methods in synthetic chemistry and DNA technology to expand the synthetic capabilities of living cells. Her research has resulted in 55 research publications and several patents and currently is supported by multiple grants from the NIH and NSF. Virginia has been recognized for her research by awards including an NSF Career Award (2000), a Sloan Foundation Fellowship (2003), the Protein Society Irving Sigal Young Investigator Award (2009), and the American Chemical Society Pfizer Award in Enzyme Chemistry (2009). In addition to her research and teaching, Virginia enjoys spending time with her husband and their three children.

Larry Overman

Professor Overman’s research interests center on the invention of new transformations and strategies in organic synthesis and the total synthesis of natural products and their congeners. Using synthesis strategies developed largely in his laboratory at the University of California, Irvine, his group has completed total syntheses of nearly 100 structurally complex natural products. Professor Overman is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His scientific awards include the Tetrahedron Prize for Creativity in Organic Chemistry and the Arthur C. Cope Award of the American Chemical Society.

Eminent Organic Chemists' Videos

The Division of Organic Chemistry (ORGN) of the American Chemical Society (ACS) celebrated its 100th birthday in 2008. As part of this celebration, ORGN hosted a Centennial Symposium at the ACS National Meeting in Philadelphia on August 18, 2008. The day before the symposium, with the support of ORGN and its then Chair, Bob Volkmann, Jeffrey I. Seeman of the University of Richmond conducted video interviews of 20 scientists where one goal was to reveal the human side of eminent organic chemists.

Seeman’s Commentary: “People ask: ‘Who are chemists? How do they work together? What are the sources of their energy and their passion?’ The media of video provides a rich opportunity to connect, very personally, with the world around us and with people who live and work far away. These videos also provide an archival record of our times. How wonderful it would be if we had video interviews with Joseph Priestley, Marie Curie, Louis Pasteur, Dmitri Mendeleev and others.

Sarpong Eminent Organic Chemists' Video
White Eminent Organic Chemists' Video
Breslow Eminent Organic Chemists' Video
Joullie Eminent Organic Chemists' Video
McElweeWhite Eminent Organic Chemists' Video
Nicolaou Eminent Organic Chemists' Video
MacMillan Eminent Organic Chemists' Video
John Montgomery Eminent Organic Chemists' Video
Houk Eminent Organic Chemists' Video
Hanessian Eminent Organic Chemists' Video
Cornish Eminent Organic Chemists' Video