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David Y. Gin

by Susan J. Ainsworth
April 11, 2011 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 89, Issue 15

David Y. Gin, 43, an accomplished organic chemist at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, died of unknown causes on March 22.

Born in Ashcroft, British Columbia, Gin received a B.Sc. in chemistry at the University of British Columbia in 1989 and a Ph.D. in synthetic chemistry at California Institute of Technology in 1994 under Andrew G. Myers. He then held a two-year postdoctoral appointment at Harvard University under the guidance of E. J. Corey.

Gin began his career in 1996 in the chemistry department at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, establishing a research program in natural product synthesis and reaction methodology development. In 2006, he moved his laboratory to the molecular pharmacology and chemistry department at Sloan-Kettering.

Gin’s research program focused on the chemical synthesis of complex carbohydrates and bioactive alkaloids. At the time of his death, he was working at the nexus of synthetic chemistry, clinical trials, and research to develop new, safer, and more potent immunological and therapeutic agents for cancer and infectious diseases. He coauthored more than 50 peer-reviewed publications and was credited with at least three patents.

In 2009, he cofounded Adjuvance Technologies. Gin received numerous awards, including the 2011 Hoffmann-La Roche Excellence in Organic Chemistry Award and the 2006 Horace S. Isbell Award in Carbohydrate Chemistry from ACS, which he joined in 1990.

He is survived by his wife, Mary; and his children, Laura and Duncan.


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