Sponsor: Arthur C. Cope Fund
Citation: For the application of proton-coupled electron transfer to organic synthesis.
Current position: professor of chemistry, Princeton University
Education: B.S., chemistry, College of William & Mary; Ph.D., chemistry, California Institute of Technology
Knowles on what gets his creative juices flowing: “I enjoy reading the literature in areas that are pretty far removed from what we work on day to day and to try to make connections to the problems that we are thinking about. I love that ‘aha’ moment when you realize you can bring together unrelated ideas in an interesting way and develop new reactions or selectivities around that insight.”
What his colleagues say: “By developing principles through which the concept of proton-coupled electron transfer (PCET) can be applied to reactions of interest in synthetic organic chemistry, Robert Knowles has established an extraordinarily original and successful independent research program and established new directions in the field of reaction chemistry. He is a highly creative synthetic and mechanistic chemist, with a remarkably insightful and probing mind.”—Eric Jacobsen, Harvard University
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