Quinine, a forty Year Construction Problem


Quinine, a forty Year Construction Problem


Gilbert Stork


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(Abstract taken from the 1990-91 DSLS Program.)

Gilbert Stork is the Eugene Higgins Professor of Chemistry at Columbia University.

Professor Stork was born in Brussels, Belgium, and was educated in France before receiving a B S. from the University of Florid a in 1942. He earned a Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin in 1965, then joined the faculty at Harvard University, first as an instructor (1946) and then as assistant professor (1948). Moving to Columbia University as an associate professor (1953), he was appointed full professor in 1955 and Eugene Higgins Professor of Chemistry in 1967. He served as departmental chairman from 1970 to 1973. Professor Stork also chaired the Organic Division of the American Chemistry Society in 1966—67.

Dr. Stork has received honorary degrees from Lawrence University, Universite Pierre et Marie Curie, the University of Rochester and Emory University. He has received numerous prizes and awards, including the William H. NichoIs Medal (1980), the Arthur C. Cope Award (1980), the Edgar Fahs Smith Award (1982), the Willard Gibbs Medal (1982), the National Academy of Sciences Award in Chemical Sciences (1982), the NationaI Medal of Science (1983), the Pauling Award (1983), the Tetrahedron Prize(1985), the Remsen Awąrd (1986), the Cliff S. Hamilton Award (1986), and the Monie A. Ferst Award and Medal (1987). Dr. Stork has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences (1961), the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1962), and as a foreign member of the French Academie des Sciences (1989).

His work: Professor Stork is noted for his designs for the synthesis of natural products of some complexity. Throughout his research, he has been concerned less with the natural product itself than with new and interesting methods for solving regiochemical and stereochemical problems. For example, he demonstrated the usefulness of enamines in the alkylation and acylation of aIdehydes and ketones, a technique that has proven useful in organic synthesis in a variety of ways.


organic chemistry

Creation Date

April 27, 1991

Quinine, a forty Year Construction Problem