Elias James Corey

(Elias James "E.J." Corey)

Elias James Corey
Elias James Corey
  • Born: July 12, 1928
  • Nationality: American
  • Profession: Scientist









Elias James "E.J." Corey is an American organic chemist. In 1990, he won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry "for his development of the theory and methodology of organic synthesis", specifically retrosynthetic analysis. Regarded by many as one of the greatest living chemists, he has developed numerous synthetic reagents, methodologies and total syntheses and has advanced the science of organic synthesis considerably.

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By 1954, as an assistant professor with a group of three graduate students, I was able to initiate more complex experimental projects, dealing with the structure, stereochemistry and synthesis of natural products. As a result of the success of this research, I was appointed in 1956, at age twenty-seven, as professor of chemistry. Success
Chemical compounds of carbon can exist in an infinite variety of compositions, forms and sizes. The naturally occurring organic substances are the basis of all life on Earth, and their science at the molecular level defines a fundamental language of that life. Life ;Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
Chemical synthesis is uniquely positioned at the heart of chemistry, the central science, and its impact on our lives and society is all pervasive. Society ;Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
From the ages of five to twelve, I attended the Saint Laurence O'Toole elementary school in Lawrence, a city next to Methuen, and was taught by sisters of the Catholic order of Notre Dame de Namour. I enjoyed all my subjects there. I do not remember ever learning any science, except for mathematics. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training ;Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
In the spring of 1959, I received an offer of a professorship at Harvard, which I accepted with alacrity since I wanted to be near my family and since the chemistry department at Harvard was unsurpassed. Families, Children & Parenting
It is fortunate that molecular synthesis also serves the utilitarian function of producing quantities of rare or novel substances which satisfy human needs, especially with regard to health, and the scientific function of stimulating research and education throughout the whole discipline of chemistry. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training ;Health, Healthcare & Medicine
My doctoral work was completed by the end of 1950 and, at the age of twenty-two, I joined the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as an instructor in chemistry under the distinguished chemists Roger Adams and Carl S. Marvel. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
My special fascination has been to understand better the world of chemistry and its complexities.
To a synthetic chemist, the complex molecules of nature are as beautiful as any of her other creations. The perception of that beauty depends on the understanding of chemical structures and their transformations, and, as with a treasured work of art, deepens as the subject is studied, perhaps even to a level approaching romance. Nature ;Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force
To the field of synthetic chemistry belongs an array of responsibilities which are crucial for the future of mankind, not only with regard to the health and needs of our society, but also for the attainment of a deep understanding of matter, chemical change, and life. Life ;Health, Healthcare & Medicine