Issue Date: January 8, 2018
National Fresenius Award: Thomas J. Maimone
Sponsor: Phi Lambda Upsilon, the National Chemistry Honor Society
Citation: For accomplishments in the field of synthetic organic chemistry, especially in the development of streamlined synthetic routes to complex natural products.
Current position: assistant professor of chemistry, University of California, Berkeley
Education: B.S., chemistry, University of California, Berkeley; Ph.D., chemistry, Scripps Research Institute
Maimone on what gets his creative juices flowing: “Being presented with a new target molecule. It’s like meeting a new person. You might at first think you have met someone similar and have preconceived notions about them, but as you converse further you realize their uniqueness. If you find that you really like this new molecule (for either biological or structural reasons), you want to get to know it better—and ideally synthesize and study it.”
What his colleagues say: “Total synthesis is a barometer for how the field of chemical synthesis is advancing, and the Maimone lab is leading the way in showing that it is possible to make even the most complex terpenes in a practical and innovative way. For anyone that thinks this field is stale, boring, or mature, please just look at the schemes of any one of his papers.”—Phil S. Baran, Scripps Research Institute
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