Professor Robert Ramage FRS
Robert Ramage has made versatile and innovative contributions to a number of important areas of organic chemistry. His seminal ideas on sesquiterpene biosynthesis were followed by stereochemically controlled chiral syntheses of a range of complex terpenes. He participated with Robert B. Woodward in the classical synthesis of cephalosporin C, a feat which significantly influenced later synthetic approaches to the beta-lactam antibiotics. Together with Alan R. Battersby he solved the enigma of colchicine biosynthesis, established the structure of a new series of alkaloids and determined the biosynthetic pathway to these homoaporphines. In the ergot alkaloid field, he designed a new synthesis of lysergic acid. Initially with George W. Kenner, and then independently, he made extensive contributions to polypeptide chemistry particularly in the gastrin field with structural elucidations followed by total synthesis of minigastrin and porcine big gastrin. He innovated many useful methodologies for peptide synthesis and applied them successfully to high molecular weight polypeptides.