Citation: For innovative use and application of organic synthesis to solve critical problems at the frontiers of chemical biology and translational drug discovery.
Current position: Kenneth L. Rinehart Jr. Endowed Chair in Natural Products Chemistry, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Education: B.S., chemistry, University of Notre Dame; Ph.D., chemistry, University of Texas, Austin
Hergenrother on what gets his creative juices flowing: “I am most interested in understanding currently intractable problems in medicine and thinking about how we can use chemistry to solve them. We live in a special time, where genomic data now allow for an unprecedented look at the molecular features of disease, and it is up to chemists to find the right drug for the right patient.”
What his colleagues say: “Hergenrother is a leader in academic compound screening and development, and in thinking about the types of compounds that should be populating compound screening collections. Typical compound collections are largely composed of small molecules that are flat and hydrophobic. He uses readily available complex natural products as the starting point for the drug discovery process and converts them to compounds of equal complexity but high diversity.”—Stephen F. Martin, University of Texas, Austin