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Professor K. Barry Sharpless, 2001 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, gave a lecture at Sun Yat-sen University

Last updated :2017-12-13

Source: School of Chemistry
Written by: School of Chemistry
Edited by: Wang Dongmei

On December 9, 2017, the 19th Session of Nobel Laureates Series Lectures at Sun Yat-sen University organized by the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs, the Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs of Guangdong Province, and Sun Yat-sen University was held in Fengsheng Hall on Guangzhou South Campus. Professor K. Barry Sharpless, winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2001, was invited to give a lecture entitled “SuFEx: a New Family of Click Chemistry Transformations”.

The lecture was hosted by Prof. Zongwan Mao, dean of the School of Chemistry. He delivered a welcome speech and presented a souvenir to Prof. Sharpless. About 350 faculty and students from the School of Chemistry, School of Life Sciences, and School of Pharmaceutical Sciences attended the lecture.

Professor K. Barry Sharpless giving a lecture entitled “SuFEx: a New Family of Click Chemistry Transformations” at Sun Yat-sen University
During the lecture, Professor Sharpless introduced the philosophy of Click Chemistry development by quoting aphorisms of famous scientists and his own inspiration—only several simple connections of a few dozen reactive modules created diverse life. Seeking to imitate the nature’s synthesis machinery, Click Chemistry aims to create diverse chemical space via heteroatom links with high efficiency. After a brief introduction of the copper(I)-catalyzed azide-alkyne cycloaddition (CuAAC), the first generation of Click Chemistry, Professor Sharpless talked about his recently developed second generation Click, Sulfur Fluoride Exchange reaction (SuFEx) in detail.

Professor K. Barry Sharpless earned his B.A. from Dartmouth College in 1963 and a Ph.D in chemistry from Stanford University in 1968. He then continued post-doctoral work at Stanford University and Harvard University. Prof. Sharpless was a professor at the MIT (1970–1977, 1980–1990) and Stanford (1977–1980). Now he is working as the W. M. Keck professorship of chemistry at The Scripps Research Institute (1990-). He has supervised more than 270 Ph.Ds and Post-docs. More than 80 of them are now working as a professor in top University around the world.

Prof. Sharpless has won tremendous important prizes, such as Arthur C. Cope Award, Benjamin Franklin Medal, Wolf Prize, F. A. Cotton Medal. In 2001, Prof. Sharpless won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work on chirally catalysed oxidation reactions (Sharpless epoxidation, Sharpless asymmetric dihydroxylation, Sharpless oxyamination).He introduced the concept of click chemistry in 1998 and developed the most powerful example: the copper catalyzed azide alkyne cycloaddition reaction (CuAAC) in 2002. His two Angewante Chieme Click chemistry paper are the most cited paper ever in this journal. His total citations are more than 110,000, and the H-index is 151. 15 papers are cited more than 1000 times.