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William S. Knowles

William S. KnowlesAKA William Standish Knowles

Born: 1-Jun-1917
Birthplace: Taunton, MA
Died: 13-Jun-2012
Location of death: Chesterfield, MO
Cause of death: unspecified
Remains: Cremated

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Chemist

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Chiral catalysts

American chemist William S. Knowles won the Nobel Prize in 2000, for his research into chirally catalysed hydrogenation reactions. His work allowed the development of catalysts for chemical reactions designed to trigger formation of high concentrations of a particular form of a molecule, while producing only small quantities of the molecule's mirror image. This led to the design of chiral catalysts for hydrogenation reactions, culminating in a process for mass production of L-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (L-DOPA), a drug used in the treatment of Parkinson disease.

Father: George Bourne Knowles
Mother: Alice Pierce Knowles
Wife: Lesley Ann Cherbonnier ("Nancy", m. 1945, until his death, three daughters, one son)
Daughter: Elizabeth
Son: Peter
Daughter: Lesley
Daughter: Sarah

    High School: Berkshire School, Berkshire, MA (1934)
    High School: Phillips Academy Andover (1935)
    University: Chemistry, Harvard University (1939)
    University: PhD, Columbia University (1942)
    Scholar: Steroids Research, Harvard University (1951-52)

    ACS Award for Creative Invention 1982
    ORCS Paul N. Rylander Award 1996
    Nobel Prize for Chemistry 2001 (with Ryoji Noyori and K. Barry Sharpless)
    Monsanto Distinguished Science Fellow (1970-86)
    Monsanto Senior Scientist (1966-70)
    Monsanto Group Leader (1952-66)
    Monsanto Research Chemist (1944-52)
    Monsanto Research Chemist, Thomas and Hochwalt (1942-44)
    Draft Deferment World War II


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