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Elias James Corey

Elias James CoreyAKA William James Corey

Born: 12-Jul-1928
Birthplace: Methuen, MA

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

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Retrosynthetic analysis

American chemist Elias James Corey won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1990, for advancing and formalizing the concept of "retrosynthetic analysis", a systematic technique of chemical synthesis which efficiently transforms a target molecule into simpler precursor structures. In work that began in earnest in 1957 and continued through the early 1970s, he developed more than one hundred synthetic reactions and transformations through his own work, and was among the first chemists to use computer analysis to design chemical syntheses. The practical applications of his work include the development of numerous medicinal drugs, including prostaglandins and ginkgolide B.

Father: Elias (businessman, d. 1930, pneumonia)
Mother: Fatina Hasham Corey (b. 1900, d. 1970)
Wife: Claire Higham Corey (m. Sep-1961, two sons, one daughter)
Son: David Reid Corey (biochemist, b. 1963)
Son: John Corey (b. 1965)
Daughter: Susan Corey (anthropologist, b. 1967)

    High School: Lawrence High School, Lawrence, MA (1945)
    University: BS Organic Chemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1948)
    University: PhD Chemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1951)
    Teacher: Organic Chemistry, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (1951-56)
    Professor: Chemistry, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (1956-59)
    Fellow: Harvard University (1957)
    Fellow: Chemistry, Royal Caroline Institute (1958)
    Professor: Chemistry, Harvard University (1959-)

    Guggenheim Fellowship 1957
    ACS Linus Pauling Medal 1973
    Benjamin Franklin Medal 1978 (by the Franklin Institute)
    Wolf Prize in Chemistry 1986
    RSC Robert Robinson Medal 1988
    Japan Prize 1989
    Nobel Prize for Chemistry 1990
    Priestley Medal 2004
    American Academy of Arts and Sciences 1960-68
    American Association for the Advancement of Science 1966
    Chemical & Engineering News Advisory Board
    Federation of American Scientists Board of Sponsors
    Welch Foundation Scientific Advisory Board
    Alpha Chi Sigma Chemistry Fraternity
    Lebanese Ancestry

Author of books:
The Logic of Chemical Synthesis (1989, chemistry; with Xue-Min Cheng)


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