SHARPLESS, BARRY K. / Chemistry / Researchers

International Center for Scientific Research




W. M. Keck Professor of Chemistry at the The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI), La Jolla, USA.

Research interests

The Sharpless Lab pursues useful new reactivity and general methods for selectively controlling chemical reactions. Though the focus has progressed from regio- to stereo- to asymmetric and, now, to connectivity control, the core chemistry remains unchanged: the oxidation of olefins, that single most versatile, powerful and reliable (KBS argues) chemical transformation. The Sharpless Lab was the first academic chemistry group with robotics, and the lesson from the combinatorial numbers game was the primacy of reliability. "Click" chemistry was the Sharpless Lab's response: a set of powerful, virtually 100% reliable, selective reactions for the rapid synthesis of new compounds via heteroatom links (C-X-C). Click chemistry is integral now to all research within the Sharpless Lab.

Prizes and awards

Allan Day Award, Philadelphia Organic Chemists Club, 1985
Dr. Paul Janssen Prize, Belgium, 1986 (1st recipient)
Prelog Medal, ETH, Switzerland, 1988
Sammet Award, Göthe University, Frankfurt-am-Main, 1988
Chemical Pioneer Award, American Institute of Chemists, 1988
Scheele Medal, Swedish Academy of Pharma Sciences, 1991
Tetrahedron Prize (with Nyori), 1993
Centenary Lectureship Medal, Royal Society of Chemistry, 1993
Cliff Hamilton Award, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, 1995
King Faisal Prize for Science, Saudi Arabia, 1995
Microbial Chemistry Medal, Kitasato Institute, Tokyo, 1997
Harvey Science & Technology Prize, Israel Inst of Tech, 1998
Rylander Award, Organic Reactions Catalysis Society, 2000
Chemical Sciences Award, National Academy of Sciences, 2000
Chiralty Medal, Italian Chemical Society, 2000
Rhone Poulenc Medal, Royal Society of Chemistry, 2000
Benjamin Franklin Medal, Franklin Institute, Philadelphia, 2001
Wolf Prize (with Kagan & Noyori), Weizmann Institute, 2001
John Scott Medal Award, City of Philadelphia, 2001
ISI Highly Cited Researchers Database, original member, 2001
2001 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry "for his work on chirally catalysed oxidation reactions."

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