Elias James Corey

Elias James Corey - Chemists, Timeline and Facts

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Elias James Corey's Personal Details

Elias James Corey is a distinguished American organic chemist who was awarded the ‘Nobel Prize in Chemistry’ in 1990.

InformationDetail
BirthdayJuly 12, 1928
NationalityAmerican
FamousMassachusetts Institute Of Technology, Scientists, Chemists, Organic Chemists
SpousesClaire Higham
Known asElias James Corey
ChildrensDavid, John, Susan
Universities
  • Massachusetts Institute Of Technology (MIT)
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Notable Alumnis
  • Massachusetts Institute Of Technology (MIT)
Birth PlaceMethuen, Massachusetts, United States
GenderMale
FatherElias Corey
MotherFatina Hasham Corey
Sun SignCancer
Born inMethuen, Massachusetts, United States
Famous asOrganic Chemist

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Elias James Corey's photo

Who is Elias James Corey?

Elias James Corey is a distinguished American organic chemist who was awarded the ‘Nobel Prize in Chemistry’ in 1990 for his scientific contributions in the development of theory and methodology of organic synthesis, particularly retrosynthetic analysis. His book ‘The Logic of Chemical Synthesis’ consists of a proper elucidation of the concept of retrosynthetic analysis, which is a systematic method of chemical synthesis involving effective transformation of a target molecule to simpler precursor structures. Through his continuous scientific research and development that covers essentially all fields of organic chemistry he substantially helped in advancing the science of organic synthesis. He also had a deep impact in the advancement of biochemistry and modern medicinal science. This saw development of number of therapeutic drugs like ginkgolide B and prostaglandins. Some of his major scientific contributions are discovery of many synthetic procedures, applying computer analysis in designing chemical synthesis and chemical synthesis of numerous complex bioactive compounds. These revolutionary works of Corey aided the chemists in developing effective synthetic forms of organic chemicals. It also improved theoretical comprehension of the way these chemicals work. At present he is the ‘Sheldon Emory Professor Emeritus’ at the ‘Harvard University’. Besides the Nobel Price, he has received several other awards including ‘Linus Pauling Award’ (1973), ‘Franklin Medal’ (1978), ‘National Medal of Science’ (1988) and the ‘Priestley Medal’ (2004). In 1998 Corey was inducted into the ‘Alpha Chi Sigma’ Hall of Fame.

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Childhood & Early Life

He was born on July 12, 1928, in Methuen, Massachusetts, United States, to Christian Lebanese immigrants Elias Corey and his wife Fatina Hasham Corey. His name was changed by his mother to Elias after his father, who passed away when he was a toddler of 18 months.

He was raised in a spacious house in a family that consisted of his mother, uncle, aunt, brother and two sisters. He studied in a Catholic elementary school and thereafter at the ‘Lawrence High School’ in Massachusetts. He was quite a sports enthusiast as a young boy and played football, baseball and did hiking.

Corey joined ‘Massachusetts Institute of Technology’ (MIT), Cambridge, Massachusetts, at 16 and obtained BS in Organic Chemistry in 1948.

Accepting an invitation of Professor John C. Sheehan, a distinguished American organic chemist, he stayed back at ‘MIT’ to pursue his postgraduate doctoral studies. In 1951 he earned PhD in Chemistry from the institute under the guidance of Professor Sheehan.

Career

Starting from 1950 the Corey group lab, which have become a conventional place of research and development associated with the field of modern synthetic organic chemistry, have developed around 300 procedures.

In 1951 he was inducted as a teacher of Organic Chemistry at the ‘University of Illinois’ at Urbana-Champaign. His career advanced in the university and he became a full Professor of Chemistry at the university in 1956 and served the position till 1959. Meanwhile in 1952 he was inducted as a Zeta Chapter member of ‘Alpha Chi Sigma’ at the university.

During his tenure at the ‘University of Illinois’ he initiated his research on synthesis and structure of substances.

He developed a number of new synthetic reactions. Among these were pyridinium chlorochromate (PCC) also referred as Corey-Suggs reagent. It is applied widely for alcohol oxidation to corresponding aldehydes and ketones.

His development of popular alcohol protecting groups like methoxyethoxymethyl (MEM), triisopropylsilyl ether (TIPS) and t-Butyldimethylsilyl ether (TBS) made synthesis of numerous natural products possible that are devoid of the functional group compatibility to endure standard chemical alterations.

He also initiated intensive examination on cationic polyolefin cyclizations employed in enzymatic generation of cholesterol out of simpler plant terpenes.

Many reagents are named after him like Corey-Fuchs alkyne synthesis, Corey-Winter olefination, Corey-Itsuno reduction and Corey–Kim oxidation.

For over 50 years, he has been serving as an advisor to American global pharmaceutical corporation Pfizer Inc. He is also a long-term consultant of Syntex/Roche Palo Alto and serves Pherin Pharmaceuticals, Inc. as Member of the Advisory Board. From January 2004, he served Ironwood Pharmaceuticals Inc. as a Member of Pharmaceutical Advisory Committee.

In 1957 he received a Guggenheim Foundation scholarship and became a Fellow of the ‘Harvard University’ and in 1958 a Fellow of ‘Royal Caroline Institute’.

‘Harvard University’ inducted Corey as Professor of Chemistry in 1959 and since then he has been dedicatedly serving the university for over five decades. At present he is a professor emeritus of Organic Chemistry and holds an active Corey Group research program.

He and his team of researchers at the Corey group have completed numerous total syntheses, which include those of prostaglandins conducted in 1969 that are thought-out as classics. The other notable syntheses of the group include Ecteinascidin 743, Salinosporamide A, Miroestrol, Ginkgolides A and B, Lactacystin and Longifolene.

He remained a member of the ‘American Academy of Arts and Sciences’ from 1960 to 1968 and that of the ‘American Association for the Advancement of Science’ in 1966. Corey is an elected member of the ‘National Institutes of Medicine’ and the ‘National Academy of Sciences’.

In 1965 he pioneered the 1,3-Dithianes as an interim alteration of a carbonyl group in addition and displacement reagents.

In 1998 he was elected a ‘Foreign Member of the Royal Society’ (ForMemRS).

He has penned down over 1100 papers that have been featured in peer-reviewed scientific journals and was recognised as "Most Cited Author in Chemistry" by ‘American Chemical Society’ (ACS) in 2002. Further he received the first ACS Publications Division ‘Cycle of Excellence High Impact Contributor Award’ in 2007. The Hirsch Index (h-index) ranked him as the numero uno chemist with regard to research impact.

Two of his notable books are ‘The Logic of Chemical Synthesis’ (1995) along with Xue-Min Cheng; and ‘Molecules and Medicine’ (2008) along with Barbara Czako and Laszlo Kurti.

Some of his distinguished students like K. C. Nicolaou, Ryōji Noyori, William L. Jorgensen, David E. Cane and Phil Baran went on to achieve great heights. However at one point of time his image was tarnished by a controversy that cropped up following suicide of one of his students Jason Altom. Altom clearly put the blame on Corey, his research advisor for his suicide. Nevertheless the article issued by ‘New York Times’ about the incident was cited by ‘American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’ (AFSP) as an instance of problematic reporting and it opinionated that Corey was unfairly made a scapegoat.

Till 2008 he was conferred with 19 honorary degrees by numerous universities across the world including ‘Cambridge University’, UK; ‘Oxford University’, UK; and ‘National Chung Cheng University’, Taiwan.

The E.J. Corey Institute of Biomedical Research (CIBR) was opened in Jiangyin, China in 2013.

Personal Life & Legacy

He married Claire Higham in September 1961 and is blessed with three children.

His eldest son David, born in 1963, is a ‘Harvard University’ graduate and a PhD holder from ‘University of California’, Berkeley. David is presently associated with University of California Medical School at San Francisco as a Postdoctoral Fellow in Chemistry/Molecular Biology.

John, his second son, born in 1965, is also a graduate from ‘Harvard University’ and is presently pursuing advanced studies in classical music composition at the ‘Conservatoire de Paris’.

His only daughter Susan, born in 1967, a graduate in anthropology from ‘Harvard University’ wishes to pursue graduate work in Education.

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Elias James Corey's awards

YearNameAward

Other

0Intra-Science Foundation Award (1967)
0Harrison Howe Award (1970)
0Centenary Medal (1971)
0Ciba Foundation Medal (1972)
0Linus Pauling Award (1973)
0Dickson Prize (1973)
0George Ledlie Prize (1973)
0Remsen Award (1974)
0Arthur C. Cope Award (1976)
0Buchman Memorial Award (1978)
0Franklin Medal (1978)
0Scientific Achievement Award Medal (1979)
0J. G. Kirkwood Award (1980)
0C. S. Hamilton Award (1980)
0Chemical Pioneer Award (1981)
0Lewis S. Rosenstiel Award (1981)
0Paul Karrer Gold Medal (1982)
0Tetrahedron Prize (1983)
0Willard Gibbs Award (1984)
0Paracelsus Award (1984)
0Madison Marshall Award (1985)
0V.D. Mattia Award (1985)
0Wolf Prize in Chemistry (1986)
0Silliman Award (1986)
0Robert Robinson Medal (1988)
0National Medal of Science (1988)
0Japan Prize (1989)
0Janot Medal (1990)
0Nobel Prize in Chemistry (1990)
0Roger Adams Award (1993)
0ForMemRS (1998)
0Priestley Medal (2004)
0ACS Award in Pure Chemistry (1960)
0 Chevreul Medal (1964)
0 Fritzsche Award (1967)

Elias James Corey biography timelines

  • // 12th Jul 1928
    He was born on July 12, 1928, in Methuen, Massachusetts, United States, to Christian Lebanese immigrants Elias Corey and his wife Fatina Hasham Corey. His name was changed by his mother to Elias after his father, who passed away when he was a toddler of 18 months.
  • // 1948
    Corey joined ‘Massachusetts Institute of Technology’ (MIT), Cambridge, Massachusetts, at 16 and obtained BS in Organic Chemistry in 1948.
  • // 1950
    Starting from 1950 the Corey group lab, which have become a conventional place of research and development associated with the field of modern synthetic organic chemistry, have developed around 300 procedures.
  • // 1951
    Accepting an invitation of Professor John C. Sheehan, a distinguished American organic chemist, he stayed back at ‘MIT’ to pursue his postgraduate doctoral studies. In 1951 he earned PhD in Chemistry from the institute under the guidance of Professor Sheehan.
  • // 1957 To 1958
    In 1957 he received a Guggenheim Foundation scholarship and became a Fellow of the ‘Harvard University’ and in 1958 a Fellow of ‘Royal Caroline Institute’.
  • // 1959
    ‘Harvard University’ inducted Corey as Professor of Chemistry in 1959 and since then he has been dedicatedly serving the university for over five decades. At present he is a professor emeritus of Organic Chemistry and holds an active Corey Group research program.
  • // Sep 1961
    He married Claire Higham in September 1961 and is blessed with three children.
  • // 1963
    His eldest son David, born in 1963, is a ‘Harvard University’ graduate and a PhD holder from ‘University of California’, Berkeley. David is presently associated with University of California Medical School at San Francisco as a Postdoctoral Fellow in Chemistry/Molecular Biology.
  • // 1965
    In 1965 he pioneered the 1,3-Dithianes as an interim alteration of a carbonyl group in addition and displacement reagents.
  • // 1965
    John, his second son, born in 1965, is also a graduate from ‘Harvard University’ and is presently pursuing advanced studies in classical music composition at the ‘Conservatoire de Paris’.
  • // 1967
    His only daughter Susan, born in 1967, a graduate in anthropology from ‘Harvard University’ wishes to pursue graduate work in Education.
  • // 1969
    He and his team of researchers at the Corey group have completed numerous total syntheses, which include those of prostaglandins conducted in 1969 that are thought-out as classics. The other notable syntheses of the group include Ecteinascidin 743, Salinosporamide A, Miroestrol, Ginkgolides A and B, Lactacystin and Longifolene.
  • // 1995 To 2008
    Two of his notable books are ‘The Logic of Chemical Synthesis’ (1995) along with Xue-Min Cheng; and ‘Molecules and Medicine’ (2008) along with Barbara Czako and Laszlo Kurti.
  • // 1998
    In 1998 he was elected a ‘Foreign Member of the Royal Society’ (ForMemRS).
  • // Jan 2004
    For over 50 years, he has been serving as an advisor to American global pharmaceutical corporation Pfizer Inc. He is also a long-term consultant of Syntex/Roche Palo Alto and serves Pherin Pharmaceuticals, Inc. as Member of the Advisory Board. From January 2004, he served Ironwood Pharmaceuticals Inc. as a Member of Pharmaceutical Advisory Committee.
  • // 2008
    Till 2008 he was conferred with 19 honorary degrees by numerous universities across the world including ‘Cambridge University’, UK; ‘Oxford University’, UK; and ‘National Chung Cheng University’, Taiwan.
  • // 2013
    The E.J. Corey Institute of Biomedical Research (CIBR) was opened in Jiangyin, China in 2013.

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Elias James Corey's FAQ

  • What is Elias James Corey birthday?

    Elias James Corey was born at 1928-07-12

  • Where is Elias James Corey's birth place?

    Elias James Corey was born in Methuen, Massachusetts, United States

  • What is Elias James Corey nationalities?

    Elias James Corey's nationalities is American

  • Who is Elias James Corey spouses?

    Elias James Corey's spouses is Claire Higham

  • Who is Elias James Corey childrens?

    Elias James Corey's childrens is David, John, Susan

  • What was Elias James Corey universities?

    Elias James Corey studied at Massachusetts Institute Of Technology (MIT), Massachusetts Institute of Technology

  • What was Elias James Corey notable alumnis?

    Elias James Corey's notable alumnis is Massachusetts Institute Of Technology (MIT)

  • Who is Elias James Corey's father?

    Elias James Corey's father is Elias Corey

  • Who is Elias James Corey's mother?

    Elias James Corey's mother is Fatina Hasham Corey

  • What is Elias James Corey's sun sign?

    Elias James Corey is Cancer

  • How famous is Elias James Corey?

    Elias James Corey is famouse as Organic Chemist