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Fellows Directory

Varinder Aggarwal

Professor Varinder Aggarwal FRS


Elected: 2012



ORCID 0000-0003-0344-6430


Varinder Aggarwal is a renowned organic chemist who has developed new methods of using chemical reactions to assemble complex, biologically important molecules. His research includes new ways of speeding up, or catalysing, these processes of synthesis. Varinder’s work has important applications in medicine, such as helping to provide a more effective vaccine against tuberculosis.

Although many organic molecules can occur in ‘right-handed’ and ‘left-handed’ forms, invariably just one of these is seen in living organisms. Normal chemical reactions, however, make both forms in equal amounts. Varinder’s work on asymmetric synthesis means it is now possible to selectively make more of the form important to understanding biological processes.

Varinder is a particular expert in a type of molecule called ylides, which are important to the Wittig reaction — a standard tool in organic chemistry. Varinder is the winner of many awards, including the Corday–Morgan and Organic Stereochemistry awards of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Interests and expertise

Subject groups


Catalysis, Organic synthesis, Stereochemistry, Stereoisomers