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Fellows Directory

Philip Kocienski

Professor Philip Kocienski FRS


Elected: 1997


Philip Kocienski has made many innovative contributions to the design and development of new organometallic reagents in synthesis, and the applications of synthetic methods to complex natural products. Early work with Basil Lythgoe on the scope and stereochemistry of the Julia olefination with alpha-metallated sulphone reagents emphasised the value of this important method in organic chemistry. His major contribution has been to research the synthesis and chemistry of novel metallated (lithium, copper and nickel) enol ethers, and to develop the uses of these intermediates in the synthesis of oxacyclic and geometrically defined alkene units in natural products of biological significance. Philip has synthesised the insecticide milbemycin beta 3, the potassium channel blocker talaromycin B, the hypotensive agent lacrimin, and the antihypertensive agent zoapatanol. His work is characterised by careful planning, attention to experimental details, and incisive finishing of meaningful synthetic targets. In particular, his total synthesis of the insect toxin pederin, and his synthetic work toward the immunosuppressant FK 506, have made him widely regarded as one of the leading organic chemists in the field.