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Fellows Directory

Carl Djerassi

Professor Carl Djerassi ForMemRS

Foreign Member

Elected: 2010


Carl Djerassi was an eminent in organic and medicinal chemistry, and in the popularization of science. With colleagues, he achieved the first synthesis of cortisone, providing treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, inflammation and eczema. He received the National Medal of Science and the first Wolf Prize in chemistry for the creation of a progesterone analogue approved in 1960 as the contraceptive pill. He developed (with others) mass spectrometry in organic chemistry, and greatly advanced natural product chemistry. In the latter part of his career, he promoted science to the general public through books and plays.

Professor Carl Djerassi ForMemRS died on 30 January 2015.

Interests and expertise

Subject groups


  • Wolf Prize

    In the field of chemistry for his work in bioorganic chemistry, application of new spectroscopic techniques, and his support of international cooperation.