Chemistry International
Vol. 22, No.4, July 2000

2000, Vol. 22
No. 4 (July)
..Chemistry in Argentina
..News from IUPAC
..Report of Accounts 1998-99
..Reports from Symposia

..Reports from Commissions
..Provisional Recommendations
..Awards and Prizes
..New Books
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Chemistry International
Vol. 22, No. 4
July 2000


Alois Fürstner Wins Thieme-IUPAC Prize in Synthetic Organic Chemistry

Prof. Dr. Alois Fürstner

Prof. Dr. Alois Fürstner, Director of the Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung, Mülheim, Germany, has won the 5th Thieme-IUPAC Prize in Synthetic Organic Chemistry (2000). The Prize will be presented to him at an Award Lecture on 3 July 2000 at the 13th International Conference on Organic Synthesis (ICOS-13) in Warsaw, Poland.

The Thieme-IUPAC Prize, consisting of DM 10 000, is awarded every two years on the occasion of IUPAC's International Conference on Organic Synthesis (ICOS) to a scientist under 40 years of age, whose research has had a major impact on the field of synthetic organic chemistry. The Prize is sponsored jointly by Georg Thieme Verlag, IUPAC, and the Editors of Synthesis, Synlett, Science of Synthesis, and Houben-Weyl <>.

Prof. Dr. Fürstner was born on 23 July 1962 in Austria. He completed his Ph.D. in carbohydrate chemistry under the direction of H. Weidmann at the Technical University Graz, Austria, in 1987. After working as a postdoctoral fellow with W. Oppolzer on metalloene reactions at the University of Geneva, Switzerland (1990-1991), he returned to Graz to obtain his Habilitation on metal activation. In 1993, he joined the Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung, Mülheim, Germany, as head of a research group. Since 1998, he has held the position of Director at the Institute and is an affiliated professor with the University of Dortmund.

Prof. Dr. Fürstner's work displays a fruitful interplay of basic research in organometallic chemistry and catalysis, and applications to natural product chemistry and the total synthesis of biologically relevant compounds. Prof. Dr. Fürstner was one of the first chemists to recognize the enormous potential of metathesis for the synthesis of macrocycles. With considerable insight into this reaction, he has spelled out rules on how to implement metathesis-based macrocycle formations in multistep syntheses, and has demonstrated the validity of his concepts by elegant applications to natural product total synthesis. Fürstner's syntheses of the macrolide (-)-gloeosporone, the terpene dactylol, the tripyrrole pigment nonylprodigiosin, and the complex glycolipids tricolorin A and G are highlights in this field.

Prof. Dr. Fürstner's conceptually new approaches to the synthesis of olfactory macrocycles (e.g., exaltolide) indicate the enormous potential of olefin metathe- sis for fine chemical produc-tion. Additionally, he has opened up promising new perspectives for preparative chemistry by introducing the first examples of ring-closing alkyne metathesis, as well as a mechanistically unprecedented enyne metathesis simply catalyzed by platinum(II) chloride. The latter transformation has already been employed in an efficient total synthesis of immunosuppresive alkaloids of the prodigiosin series.

Another major area of Fürstner's work concerns metal-induced C-C bond formations. He has developed a versatile reductive indole synthesis and has pioneered a new branch of catalysis research by discovering McMurry-type reactions catalytic in titanium as well as Nozaki-Hiyama-Kishi reactions catalytic in chromium.

Prof. Dr. Fürstner has achieved worldwide recognition for his highly innovative and creative independent research. He has received several awards, including the prestigious Leibniz Award (1999) from the German Science Foundation.

> Read more about the Thieme-IUPAC Prize



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