Nicolaou teaching students

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K.C. Nicolaou

K.C. Nicolaou

brief career background/research interests

K.C. Nicolaou was born on July 5, 1946, in Cyprus where he grew up and went to school until the age of 18. In 1964, he went to England where he spent two years learning English and preparing to enter the University. He studied chemistry at the University of London. (B.Sc., 1969, Bedford College; Ph.D. 1972, University College, with Professors F. Sondheimer and P.J. Garratt) In 1972, he moved to the United States and, after postdoctoral appointments at Columbia University (1972-1973, Professor T.J. Katz) and Harvard University (1973-1976, Professor E.J. Corey), he joined the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania where he rose through the ranks to become the Rhodes-Thompson Professor of Chemistry.

In 1989, he accepted joint appointments at the University of California, San Diego, where he is Professor of Chemistry, and The Scripps Research Institute where he is the Darlene Shiley Professor of Chemistry, and Chairman of the Department of Chemistry. In 1996, he was appointed Aline W. and L.S. Skaggs Professor of Chemical Biology in The Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology, The Scripps Research Institute. He serves on the Scientific Advisory Board of numerous scientific journals and is an advisor to several biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. K.C. Nicolaou's research interests include the chemistry, biology, and medicine of natural and designed molecules. The group's research activities are centered around the total synthesis of architecturally novel and biologically important natural products which serve as opportunities for discovery and invention of novel synthetic strategies, methods, and enabling technologies for biology and medicine. He is the author or co-author of more than 725 publications, 67 patents and 5 books. Among K.C. Nicolaou's Awards and Honors are the Schering Prize (Germany), the Aspirin Prize (Spain), the Max Tishler Prize Lecture (Harvard), the Yamada Prize (Japan), the Janssen Prize (Belgium), the Nagoya Medal (Japan), the Centenary Medal (Royal Society UK), the Paul Karrer Medal (Switzerland), the Inhoffen Medal (Germany), the Nichols Medal (USA), the Linus Pauling Medal (USA), the Esselen Award (USA), the ACS Award for Creative Work in Synthetic Organic Chemistry (USA), the ACS Guenther Award in Natural Products Chemistry (USA), the Nobel Laureate Signature Award, Tetrahedron Prize Award, the Benjamin Franklin Medal in Chemistry, and several honorary degrees. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a Member of the National Academy of Sciences, and a Member of the American Philosophical Society.


Contact Information

K.C. Nicolaou

KCN Awards

Photos of KC

greek art with molecular structures