Wolf Prize Laureate in Chemistry 1986
The Chemistry Prize Committee for 1986 has unanimously decided to recommend that the Wolf Prize in Chemistry be shared jointly by Albert Eschenmoser and Elias J. Corey.
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH)
“for outstanding research on the synthesis, stereochemistry, and reaction mechanisms for formation of natural products, especially Vitamin-B12.”
“No living chemists have had a greater impact on the field of complex natural products than Professors Elias J. Corey and Albert Eschenmoser.”
Albert Eschenmoser has shown a remarkably keen insight-into-the-stereochemistry and mechanisms of the reactions used in his synthetic studies. His most spectacular successes have been in the Vitamin-B12 field. He achieved a total synthesis of this compound that was completed in collaboration with Professor R.B. Woodward and at the same time also developed another novel approach leading to a second synthesis of Vitamin-B12. Later his interest in this system has led him to formulate new ideas concerning the mode of formation of Vitamin-B12 and other tetrapyrrolic pigments, the “key molecules of life”, in pre-biotic times. His beautiful series of model experiments, elegantly designed, very well thought-out, and brilliantly executed, led to a substantiation of these ideas.