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Ryoji Noyori

Ryoji NoyoriBorn: 3-Sep-1938
Birthplace: Kobe, Japan

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

Nationality: Japan
Executive summary: Chiral catalysts

Japanese chemist Ryoji Noyori became intrigued by chemistry after attending a presentation on nylon when he was a boy, accompanying his father, who was also a chemist. He studied at Kyoto University, spent most of his career at Nagoya University, and won the Nobel Prize in 2000 for his use of the process of hydrogenation to develop catalytic asymmetric synthesis.

Many carbon compounds are chiral and asymmetric, existing in two mirror-image forms that cannot be superimposed over each other, like a person's left and right and left hands, but asymmetrically engineered molecules do not structurally mirror themselves. The work of Noyori and his collaborators allows pharmaceuticals to be asymmetrically engineered with a more precisely targeted effect, as specific chemical reactions in the body may need only one or the other "side" of such compounds.

Father: Kaneki Noyori (research chemist)
Mother: Suzuko Noyori
Wife: Hiroko Oshima (m. 1972)
Son: Eiji (journalist, b. 1973)
Son: Koji (artist, b. 1978)

    High School: Nada High School, Kobe, Japan (1957)
    University: BS Organic Chemistry, Kyoto University (1961)
    University: MS Chemistry, Kyoto University (1963)
    University: DEng, Kyoto University (1967)
    Lecturer: Chemistry, Kyoto University (1963-68)
    Teacher: Chemistry, Nagoya University (1968-72)
    Scholar: Chemistry, Harvard University (1969-70)
    Professor: Chemistry, Nagoya University (1972-)
    Administrator: Director of the Research Center for Materials Science, Nagoya University (2000-)

    CSJ Award for Young Chemists 1972
    Matsunaga Prize 1978
    Chunichi Cultural Prize 1982
    Chemical Society of Japan Award 1985
    Toray Science & Technology Prize 1990
    ACS John Gamble Kirkwood Medal 1991
    Tetrahedron Prize for Creativity in Organic Chemistry 1993 (with K. Barry Sharpless)
    Keimei Life Science Prize 1994
    Japan Academy Prize 1995
    ACS Arthur C. Cope Award 1997
    SCI Chirality Medal 1997
    Person of Cultural Merit 1998
    King Faisal International Prize in Science 1999
    Japanese Order of Culture 2000
    Nobel Prize for Chemistry 2001 (with William S. Knowles and K. Barry Sharpless)
    ACS Roger Adams Medal 2001
    Wolf Prize in Chemistry 2001 (with Henri B. Kagan and K. Barry Sharpless)
    American Association for the Advancement of Science Foreign Member, 1996
    American Academy of Arts and Sciences Foreign Member, 2001
    Chemical Society of Japan President (2001-02)
    European Academy of Arts, Sciences, and Humanities 2001
    Japan Society for the Promotion of Science
    Pontifical Academy of Sciences
    Royal Society of Chemistry Foreign Member, 2000
    Society of Synthetic Organic Chemistry, Japan President (1997-99)

Author of books:
Asymmetric Catalysis in Organic Synthesis (1993)
Supercritical Fluids (1999)
Catalytic Hydrogenation Issue (2003)


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