The Janssen Pharmaceutical Prize recognizes Creativity in Organic Synthesis and as I truly believe that Organic Synthesis is an art based on Creativity, I was thrilled to be part of this prestigious list of awardees.
Ilan Marek, FRSC was born in Haifa (Israel), educated in France, and received his PhD thesis in 1988 from the University Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, (France) under the guidance of Professor J. F. Normant. In 1989, he was postdoctoral fellow in Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium) with Professor L. Ghosez and obtained a research position at the CNRS in France in 1990. After obtaining his Habilitation in Organic Chemistry, he moved to the Technion- Israel Institute of Technology at the end of 1997 where he currently holds a full Professor position. Since 2005, he holds the Sir Michael and Lady Sobell Academic Chair.
He was awarded the First French Chemical Society-Acros Price for young Organic Chemist (under 40 years old in 1997); the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Visiting Professor Award (1997); the Lawrence G. Horowitz Career Development Chair (1998); the Yigal Alon Fellowship (1998); Evelyn and Salman Grand Academic Lectureship-USA (1998); the Yosefa and Leonid Allschwang award, administrated by the Israel Science Foundation (2000); the Michael Bruno Memorial Award 2002, administrated by the Rotschild Foundation (2002); the Prize for Excellent Young Chemist, The Israel Chemical Society (2004); the Merck Sharpe and Dohm Lecturer (2005); the Bessel Award of the Humboldt Foundation, Germany (2007), the Taub Award for academic excellence (2009), The German-Technion Award for Academic Excellence and Scientific Collaborations (2010), the Royal Society Chemistry organometallic Award from the RSC (2011), the Taiwan National Science Council Visiting Scholar (2011), the Janssen Award for Creativity in organic Synthesis (2012), the Israel Chemical Society award for Excellence (2012), the Moore Distinguished Scholar Appointment from California Institute of Technology (CalTech) in 2013, the SFB-guest professor Wilhelms-University Muenster (2015), The Weizmann Prize for exact Sciences (2015), the 17th International Organic Chemistry Foundation Yoshida Lectureship, Japan (2015) and the Yannai Prize for excellence in teaching (2015).
He his a member of the International Scientific Committee of European Symposium on Organic Chemistry (ESOC), including the position of Chairman (2007-2009), Chairman of the organic Division of the European Association of Chemical and Molecular Sciences (EuCheMs), member of advisory board of Chemical Communications (RSC), Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry, (RSC), European Journal of Organic chemistry (Wiley), Angewandte Chemie, International Edition (Wiley), Chemistry A European Journal (Wiley), Synlett (Thieme); Synthesis (Thieme), The Chemical Records (Wiley), Helvetica Chimica Acta (Wiley). He is Associate Editor of Beilstein Journal of Organic Chemistry and of the Israel Journal of Chemistry and serves as Senior Editor of the Patai’s series. He is also Volume Editor of Comprehensive Organic Synthesis (Elsevier) and Science of Synthesis (Thieme).
He is concerned with the design and development of new and efficient stereo- and enantioselective strategies for the synthesis of important complex molecular structures. He is particularly interested in developing carbon-carbon bond forming as well as carbon-carbon bond activation processes, which efficiently create multiple stereocenters in a single-pot operation. Understanding of reaction mechanisms gives insight into the origins of chemo- and stereoselectivity, and governs optimization towards the most efficient and general protocols for his methodologies. His vision is that we should provide an answer to challenging synthetic problems but it has to be coupled with unique efficiency and elegance.