David W.C. MacMillan
The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2021
Born: 16 March 1968, Bellshill, United Kingdom
Affiliation at the time of the award: Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, USA
Prize motivation: “for the development of asymmetric organocatalysis”
Prize share: 1/2
Catalysts, substances that accelerate chemical reactions, without becoming part of the final product, are important for chemists' ability to construct molecules. In 2000, David MacMillan and Benjamin List developed a new type of catalysis that builds upon small organic molecules. An important capacity of many such catalysts is the ability to build only one of two mirror image variants of a molecule. Such catalysts are used for example in pharmaceutical research and have made chemistry more environmentally friendly.
Their work and discoveries range from paleogenomics and click chemistry to documenting war crimes.
See them all presented here.