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Ernest Guenther Award in the Chemistry of Natural Products: Stephen F. Martin

by Linda Wang
January 2, 2017 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 95, Issue 1

Stephen F. Martin
Credit: Heather Kennedy

Photo of Stephen F. Martin.
Credit: Heather Kennedy

Sponsor: Givaudan

Citation: For creative invention and development of new methods and strategies and their application to concise syntheses of a remarkably diverse array of natural products.

Current position: professor, M. June and J. Virgil Waggoner Chair of Chemistry, University of Texas at Austin

Education: B.S., chemistry, University of New Mexico; M.A., chemistry, Princeton University; Ph.D., chemistry, Princeton University

Martin on his biggest research challenge: “As a trained synthetic organic chemist, the greatest challenge has been getting grants funded for research at the interface of organic chemistry and biology—areas such as enzyme mechanism, energetics and structure in protein-ligand interactions, chemical biology, and medicinal chemistry. Simply being an ‘outsider’ in a discipline raises significant barriers to being competitive for funding, even with blue ribbon teams of collaborators in the field.”

What his colleagues say: “He is well-known for exploiting unique structural insights to inspire the design and development of new methods and strategies and applying these to concise and imaginative syntheses of natural products. The extraordinary breadth of his creative contributions is evident from the diversity of the more than 70 alkaloids, polyketides, polypropionates, and terpenes he has synthesized and the many methods he has developed.”—Michael J. Krische, University of Texas at Austin



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