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K. Barry Sharpless

K. Barry SharplessAKA Karl Barry Sharpless

Born: 28-Apr-1941
Birthplace: Philadelphia, PA

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

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Chiral catalysts

American chemist K. Barry Sharpless developed stereoselective oxidation reactions, and showed that the formation of an inhibitor with femtomolar potency can be catalyzed by the enzyme acetylcholinesterase, beginning with an azide and an alkyne. He discovered several chemical reactions which have transformed asymmetric synthesis from science fiction to the relatively routine, including aminohydroxylation, dihydroxylation, and the Sharpless asymmetric epoxidation. He won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 2001, for his part in the unraveling of chiral catalysts asymmetrically engineered molecules that do not structurally mirror themselves, a breakthrough that has enabled researchers to selectively control chemical reactions.

Wife: Jan Dueser (m. 28-Apr-1965)
Daughter: Hannah (b. 1976)
Son: William (b. 1978)
Son: Isaac (b. 1980)

    High School: Friends Central School, Philadelphia, PA (1959)
    University: BA Chemistry, Dartmouth College (1963)
    University: PhD Organic Chemistry, Stanford University (1968)
    Scholar: Stanford University (1968-69)
    Scholar: Harvard University (1969-70)
    Professor: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1970-77)
    Professor: Stanford University (1977-80)
    Professor: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1980-90)
    Professor: W. M. Keck Professor of Chemistry, Scripps Research Institute (1990-)

    ACS Harrison Howe Award 1987
    ACS Ira Remsen Award 1989
    ACS Arthur C. Cope Award 1992
    Tetrahedron Prize for Creativity in Organic Chemistry 1993 (with Ryoji Noyori)
    King Faisal International Prize in Science 1995
    Guggenheim Fellowship 1987
    ACS Roger Adams Medal 1997
    ACS Theodore William Richards Medal 1998
    ACS Wallace Carothers Award 1999
    ORCS Paul N. Rylander Award 2000
    SCI Chirality Medal 2000
    Benjamin Franklin Medal 2001 (Franklin Institute)
    Nobel Prize for Chemistry 2001 (with William S. Knowles and Ryoji Noyori)
    John Scott Medal 2001
    Wolf Prize in Chemistry 2001 (with Henri B. Kagan and Ryoji Noyori)
    American Association for the Advancement of Science 1984
    American Academy of Arts and Sciences 1984
    Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellowship, 1973
    Federation of American Scientists Board of Sponsors
    Guggenheim Fellowship 1987
    National Academy of Sciences 1985
    National Institutes of Health Fellowship, 1968
    National Science Foundation Fellowship, 1963

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