Professor Albert Eschenmoser ForMemRS
Albert Eschenmoser is a world leader in the synthesis of organic chemicals, having been the first to produce a number of important compounds. These include a natural painkiller for gout called colchicine and the highly complex molecule, vitamin B12.
Later in his career, Albert began to study the structures of the molecules that carry the genetic blueprint, DNA and RNA. He synthesised alternative backbones for both, showing that other structures are possible. Albert’s work raised the question of why DNA and RNA exist in their common structures and represent the best choice for the replication of genetic information and the creation of new life.
Albert has written over 250 scientific publications and received a host of awards during his career. He is a founding member of Academia Europaea and a member of the US National Academy of Science. He has won many prizes, including the 1986 Wolf Prize in Chemistry and the Benjamin Franklin Medal of the Franklin Institute.