Elias James Corey
The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1990
Born: 12 July 1928, Methuen, MA, USA
Affiliation at the time of the award: Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA
Prize motivation: "for his development of the theory and methodology of organic synthesis."
Prize share: 1/1
Nature is full of organic substances - a varied number of chemical compounds that contain the element carbon. At the end of the 1950s, E. J. Corey began developing a new approach to producing, or synthesizing, organic substances. The desired molecule was analyzed and viewed as a combination of smaller components united by essential bonds. The analysis was repeated until known and available molecules were obtained. From these, the desired molecule could then be assembled in several steps through chemical reactions.
Their work and discoveries range from cancer therapy and laser physics to developing proteins that can solve humankind’s chemical problems. The work of the 2018 Nobel Laureates also included combating war crimes, as well as integrating innovation and climate with economic growth. Find out more.