Journal of the American Chemical Society (JACS) Associate Editor Phil Baran is a recipient of one of the 2016 Blavatnik National Awards for Young Scientists. The award is given by the Blavatnik Family Foundation and administered by the New York Academy of Sciences. The prize celebrates exceptional young scientists and engineers and comes with $250,000, the largest unrestricted cash award given to early-career scientists.
The award recognizes Phil Baran’s work in natural product synthesis, as well as his development of a new synthetic method for the design of scalable, efficient, economically viable routes to new drugs. His lab recently achieved the synthesis of plant-derived ingenol. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved derivatives of this substance for skin cancer treatment.
Each of the three awardees was selected from a pool of 308 nominations coming from 148 leading U.S. universities and research institution, as well as the Blavatnik Awards Scientific Advisory Council. The field is then winnowed, first to 31 finalists and then to 3 national laureates by a jury of distinguished scientists and engineers. Both the finalists and the laureates will be will be honored at an annual awards ceremony on September 12, 2016, at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.
In addition to his work on JACS, Phil Baran is the Darlene Shiley Professor of Chemistry at The Scripps Research Institute. He is the author of more than 180 scientific articles, and an interactive chemistry textbook. His research is focused on devising practical routes to complex natural products and developing new reactions and reagents of use to those in industry (materials science, agrochemistry, and medicine). Baran is the recipient of the 2015 ACS Corey Award, the 2014 Mukaiyama Award, the 2013 Royal Society of Chemistry Synthetic Organic Chemistry Award and a MacArthur Fellowship in 2013. He is also a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.