Prof. Kyriacos Costa (K.C.) Nicolaou wins prestigious 2016 Wolf Prize in Chemistry

Prof. Nicolaou, former IAS Guest Lecturer in Chemistry, recognized for advances in field of chemical synthesis

Consul Daniel Agranov of the Israel Consulate to the Southwest United States congratulates Prof. Nicolaou.

Rice University Organic Chemist Prof. Kyriacos Costa (K.C.) Nicolaou and Harvard Chemist Stuart L. Schreiber, were announced as co-winners of the 2016 Wolf Prize in Chemistry. The Wolf foundation recognized Prof. Nicolaou “for advancing the field of chemical synthesis to the extremes of molecular complexity, linking structure and function and expanding our dominion over the interface of chemistry, biology and medicine.”


Prof. Nicolaou, Guest Lecturer of the Joshua Jortner Distinguished Lectures in Chemistry Endowed by Raymond and Beverly Sackler for the academic year 2006/2007, joined Rice University (Houston, Texas) as the Harry C. and Olga K. Wiess Professor of Chemistry in the BioScience Research Collaborative (BRC) in 2013. Prof. Nicolaou is best known for publishing the first complete synthetic pathway to the natural substance Taxol. Marketed as the chemotherapeutic drug Paclitaxel, Taxol is used to treat ovarian, breast, lung, pancreatic and other cancers and is on the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines. Prof. Nicolaou has authored or co-authored five books and more than 770 peer-reviewed publications and holds 68 patents. His research has been cited more than 55,000 times.


“I am deeply moved and grateful to the Wolf Foundation for this special honor and wish to share the joy that it brings with my many students and colleagues around the world and thank them for their support and dedication to the field of organic synthesis,” Prof. Nicolaou said.


Prof. Nicolaou’s many honors include the Benjamin Franklin Medal in Chemistry, the Arthur C. Cope Award and the Linus Pauling Medal. He is a fellow or foreign member of more than 20 academic academies and societies, including the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society and the Royal Society of London, and was awarded an Einstein Professorship by the Chinese Academy of Sciences.


The Mortimer and Raymond Sackler Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS) offers its warmest congratulations to its past Joshua Jortner Distinguished Lecturer in Chemistry on receiving this prestigious prize.

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