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News Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 202003

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F. Mathey: A Parisian in America
Later this year, Franois Mathey (Ecole
Polytechnique, Palaiseau, France), will
move to the University of California at
Riverside (UCR) to take over a position
as Distinguished Professor in the Department of Chemistry. He was born in
Paris (France) in
1941, and studied
chemistry at Paris
VI University (today
Pierre et Marie
Curie). He received his doctorate from this university in 1971 and
worked in industry
F. Mathey
until 1988. Then,
he was appointed
Professor at the Ecole Polytechnique in
Palaiseau near Paris (founded in 1794)
and Research Director at the CNRS.
The research of his group is focused
on phosphorus and transition-metal
chemistry as well as homogeneous catalysis. Mathey is especially interested in
the analogy between the chemistry of
low-coordinate carbon and phosphorus
species. He is a co-author of a book on
this subject and his overview of achievements in phosphaorganic chemistry was
recently published as a Review in Angewandte Chemie.[1] Therein, he reports on
the synthesis, reactivity, and coordination modes of the most fundamental
low-coordinate units, the phosphorus
analogues of alkenes, alkynes, and car-
benes. “This analogy is deep, specific,
and fertile,” he writes. Together with his
new colleagues Guy Bertrand (joint
UCR – CNRS laboratory) and Chris
Reed, Mathey will make Riverside one
of the preeminent places for research on
main-group chemistry in the world.
Mathey has been a full member of
the chemistry department of the French
Academy of Sciences since 1998. Having
been in office since 2000, he will continue to serve as a President of the
French Chemical Society (Société Franaise de Chimie, SFC) until the end of
the year. He is also a member of the
Editorial Board of Chemistry—A European Journal.
S. Danishefsky:
An American in Darmstadt
The Emanuel Merck Lectureship,
awarded by Merck KGaA, Darmstadt,
Germany (Pharmaceuticals and Chemicals), is given to Prof. Samuel J. Danishefsky from New York. It is worth
10 000 E.
Danishefsky obtained his Ph. D. in
1962 at Harvard University under the
direction of Peter Yates. From 1961 to
1963, he was a
Postdoctoral Fellow at Columbia
University (New
York) under the
mentorship of Gilbert Stork. He
then joined the
faculty at the University of Pittsburgh, PA, before
S. J. Danishefsky
moving to Yale in
1980. In 1993, he
returned to New York as a Professor of
Chemistry at Columbia University and
is currently Head of Bioorganic Chemistry at the Memorial Sloan – Kettering
Cancer Center in Manhattan. The roots
of this institution go back as far as 1884,
and the basic-research arm was founded
in 1948. It is the worldCs oldest and
largest private institution devoted to
2003 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
patient care, education, and research
into cancer.
DanishefskyCs research interests are
centered around the strategy and methodology of organic synthesis and its
application to problems of biological
importance—challenging and thoughtprovoking organic chemistry at the interface of plausible biological and medical applications. In particular, his group
works on the syntheses of antitumor and
anti-infective natural products, analogues thereof, and syntheses of fully
synthetic carbohydrate epitope vaccines
whose goal is suppression of tumor
recurrence. Furthermore, oligosaccharides are investigated as potential analogues of cancer cell surfaces. Clinical
tests have yielded promising results with
patients. Fittingly, the title of the prize
lecture is “On the Power of Organic
Synthesis”. It will provide an insight into
the potential of modern medicinal
chemistry and drug design and will be
delivered at Darmstadt University of
Technology on May 26, 2003. In addition
to this lecture, Danishefsky will give two
seminars for students at Darmstadt
University of Technology.
In 2002, the Danishefsky group published no less than five Communications
in Angewandte Chemie, three of which
were recognized as being either Very
Important or Hot Papers by the referees
or editors, respectively. His Review on
the total synthesis of gelsemine was
featured on the cover of Issue 1/2003.[2]
Gelsemine was picked as a target for its
interesting structure, rather than biological activity. “It is in the solution of
such problems that much new chemistry
is often learnt,” Danishefsky points out.
[1] a) K. B. Dillon, F. Mathey, J. F. Nixon,
Phosphorus: The Carbon Copy, John
Wiley and Sons, Chichester, 1997; b) F.
Mathey, Angew. Chem. 2003, 115, 1616;
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2003, 42, 1578.
[2] H. Lin, S. J. Danishefsky, Angew. Chem.
2003, 115, 38; Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2003,
42, 36.
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2003, 42, 2214
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