Steven Victor Ley FRS is the BP Professor of Organic Chemistry at the University of Cambridge, and is a Fellow of Trinity College. He was President of the Royal Society of Chemistry (2000–2002) and was made a CBE in January 2002. In 2011, he was included by The Times in the list of the “100 most important people in British science”.
His main research field is the total synthesis of biomolecules. His group has published extensively on this topic, and has completed the synthesis of more than 140 natural target compounds, with notable examples including indanamycin, routiennocin, avermectin B1a, okadaic acid, spongistatin, thapsigargin, epothilone A, antascomicin B, bengazole A andrapamycin. His total synthesis of azadirachtin, completed in 2007, is widely regarded as one of the major landmarks in total synthesis. In the course of this work, he has also made substantial advances in many areas of organic chemistry, including the development of new catalysts, protecting groups and reagents. He is one of the inventors of TPAP, a widely employed oxidizing reagent. He has also pioneered the use of immobilized reagents and flow techniques in multi-step organic synthesis. This work now incorporates flow chemistry for multistep organic synthesis applications.
Honours and Awards
Steve Ley's work of almost 800 papers has been recognised by about 40 major prizes and awards, the most recent of which are:
- 1980 Corday-Morgan Medal and Prize of the Royal Institute of Chemistry
- 2014 IUPAC-Thales Nano Prize in Flow Chemistry
- 2013 Franco Brittanique Prize
- 2013 Longstaff Prize (Royal Society of Chemistry)
- 2011 Royal Medal (Royal Society).
- 2010 Paracelsus Prize (Swiss Chemical Society).
- 2009 Perkin Prize for Organic Chemistry (Royal Society of Chemistry
- 2009 Tetrahedron Prize for Creativity in Organic Chemistry 
- 2009 Heinrich Wieland Prize awarded for outstanding achievements in the synthesis of key natural products (Boehringer Ingelheim)
- 2008 High Throughput Drug Discovery Methodologies Award (Royal Society of Chemistry)
- 2008 Prous Institute-Overton and Meyer Award for New Technologies in Drug Discovery (European Federation of Medicinal Chemistry)
- 2008 Hans Herloff Inhoffen Medal, Helmholtz Zentrum für Infektionsforschung, Germany
- 2007 SCI Innovation Award
- 2007 The American Chemical Society Award for Creative Work in Synthetic Organic Chemistry (ACS)
- 2006 The Nagoya Gold Medal (Banyu Life Science Foundation International, Japan)
- 2006 Robert Robinson Award and Medal (Royal Society of Chemistry)
- 2005 The Yamada-Koga Prize (Japan)
- 2004 The Messel Medal Lecture (Society of Chemical Industry)
- 2004 Innovation of the Year Award: Jointly with AstraZeneca, Avecia and Syngenta (Chemical Industries Association)
- 2004 iChemE Award for Innovation in Applied Catalysis. (The iAc Award)
- 2004 Teamwork in Innovation Award (Royal Society of Chemistry)
- 2004 Alexander-von-Humboldt Award (Germany)
- Tetrahedron Prize for Creativity in Organic Chemistry
- "Director of the Department of Chemistry, University of Cambridge, UK - Heinrich Wieland Prize 2009 for outstanding achievements in the synthesis of key natural products".http://www.heinrich-wieland-prize.de. Retrieved 7 October 2014.
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