Director of the Department of Chemistry, University of Cambridge, UK
Heinrich Wieland Prize 2009 for outstanding achievements in the synthesis of key natural products
Steven Ley is one of the leading scientists in developing chemical methods for the synthesis of natural products. In particular, his work on iron chemistry, encapsulated reagents, microbial oxidation, spiroketals, organic catalysis, and microwave chemistry has been groundbreaking. Ley has pioneered the use of immobilized reagents in multi-step organic synthesis to make compounds in a cleaner and more effective way. He has devised many practical protecting groups using acetal chemistry and he was one of the inventors of TPAP, a widely used catalytic oxidant.
Ley started as a lecturer at Imperial College in 1975, was promoted to Professor in 1983, and became Head of Department in 1989, before moving to Cambridge University, UK, in 1992.
Selected Honours & Memberships
CBE Commander of the British Empire (2002), Humboldt Research Award (2004), Tetrahedron Prize for Creativity in Organic Chemistry, Elsevier (2009), Heinrich Wieland Prize (2009), Paracelsus Prize (2010), Royal Medal (2011), Longstaff Prize, Royal Society of Chemistry (2013), F.Med.Sci, The Academy of Medical Sciences (2005), Foreign Member, Finnish Academy of Science and Letters (2007), Foreign Fellow, Indian National Science Academy (2009)
Consultant and scientific advisory board member to companies such as Pfizer, Syngenta, IFF, and UCB.