Prebiotic Organic Chemistry and Chemical pre-Biology: Speaking to the Synthetic Organic Chemists
Received: 17 November 2016
Accepted: 18 November 2016
20 December 2016 (online)
This cluster is dedicated to Albert Eschenmoser who inspired many organic chemists to enter the field of prebiotic organic chemistry.
Ramanarayanan Krishnamurthy received his B.Sc. in chemistry from Vivekananda College (University of Madras), M.Sc. in chemistry from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, and Ph.D. from The Ohio State University, Columbus (with Professor David Hart). Captivated by a lecture given by Professor Albert Eschenmoser, he did his postdoctoral work at the Swiss Federal Institute (ETH) Zürich with Professor Eschenmoser. Following a NASA–NSCORT fellowship with Professor Gustaf Arrhenius at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UCSD, La Jolla, he rejoined Professor Eschenmoser at the Skaggs Institute of Chemical Biology at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI), La Jolla, spawning a nearly 13-year research collaboration. He is currently an Associate Professor of Chemistry at TSRI, applying synthetic organic chemistry to understand the chemistry behind the origins of life – and, in the process, developing molecular tools to probe biology and novel molecular leads for chemical therapeutics.Victor Snieckus was born in Lithuania (of Estonian-Lithuanian parentage) and fled with his parents to Germany during World War II. He obtained the B.Sc. at the University of Alberta, graduate degrees at University of California, Berkeley (D. S. Noyce) and University of Oregon (V. Boekelheide), and carried out postdoctoral studies at NRC Ottawa (O. E. Edwards). He taught at the University of Waterloo until 1998, then moved to Queen’s University, Kingston as the inaugural Bader Chair of Organic Chemistry. He continues fundamental research as Bader Chair Emeritus as well as Director of Snieckus Innovations, an institute for the synthesis of small molecules for the pharmaceutical and agrochemical industries. He is a recipient of the ACS Cope Scholar Award, Arfvedson-Schlenk-Prize of the GDCh, CSC Bernard Belleau Award, CSC Alfred Bader Award, Tallinn Technical University Honoris Causa, and is a Lithuanian Academy of Sciences Laureate. His research aims to provide useful synthetic concepts and methodologies, principally based on directed ortho metalation and transition-metal-catalyzed reactions. He infrequently plays hockey and wishes he had not given up the clarinet.