E. J. Corey: Chemist Extraordinaire

img_0142.jpgFiled by Rudy Baum

On Tuesday of the ACS meeting in Boston, Harvard University chemistry professor and Chemistry Nobel Laureate E. J. Corey received the first ACS Publications Division “Cycle of Excellence High Impact Contributor Award” at the Publications Division/C&EN booth in the Exposition. Corey has published more than 500 papers in ACS journals during his more-than-50-year career. Many of them are among the most highly cited papers in ACS journal history.


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After the award ceremony, Corey sat down to sign his newest book, “Molecules & Medicine,” and reprints of five seminal papers for well-wishers. The papers included “Enantioselective Synthesis of α-Amino Nitriles from N-Benzhydryl Imines and HCN with a Chiral Bicyclic Guanidine as Catalyst,” which was published in the first issue of the ACS journal Organic Letters (1999, 1, 157). The paper is the most highly cited paper in the journal’s history.

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Corey was at the booth signing books and reprints for well over an hour. More than 300 individuals waited patiently in line for a chance to shake the celebrated synthetic organic chemist’s hand and have him sign these important papers and his exciting new book, which provides an informative and comprehensive examination of the chemistry of modern pharmaceuticals.

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