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David Milstein

Current Location:: Rehovot, Israel
Birthplace: Ulm, Tübingen, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
Immediate Family:

Son of Abraham Milstein and Musia Milstein
Husband of Private
Father of Private; Private and Private
Brother of Private

Occupation: Chemist
Managed by: Yigal Burstein
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About David Milstein

David Milstein (born June 4, 1947) is an Israeli chemist best known for his research on metal-mediated activation and functionalization of very strong chemical bonds.


Milstein, who immigrated with his family to the newly founded state of Israel at the age of two, was born (1947) in the city of Ulm, in post-war Germany, where his family took refuge after being displaced during the Holocaust. Milstein was first fascinated by chemistry when attending high school in the town of Rehovot where “an enthusiastic, old-fashioned chemistry teacher who didn’t care much about orbitals” inspired him “with vivid, thought-provoking experiments”. Pursuing his interest, Milstein received B.Sc., M.Sc., and Ph.D. degrees in chemistry from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He carried out postdoctoral research in the U.S. at the University of Iowa and at Colorado State University. In 1979, Milstein joined DuPont Central Research & Development in Wilmington, Delaware, where he became a group leader in the homogeneous catalysis area. In 1987, he took up an academic position at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, where he is now director of the Kimmel Center for Molecular Design and the Israel Matz Professorial Chair of Organic Chemistry.


Milstein has authored Over 320 publications in peer-reviewed journals . He and his coworkers have developed many group 8, 9, and 10 transition-metal complexes with specifically designed ligands that have proven useful to activate strong C-C, C-H, C-F, N-H, and O-H bonds.

Honors and awards

  • 2012 Israel Prize Recipient in Chemistry and Physics
  • The Humboldt Research Award by the Alexander Von Humboldt Foundation, 2011
  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, 2010
  • The 2010 Royal Society of Chemistry Sir Geoffrey Wilkinson Award
  • The 2007 American Chemical Society Award in Organometallic Chemistry
  • Research selected by Science among the top 10 major scientific breakthroughs of the year 2007
  • The 2006 Israel Chemical Society Prize
  • Election to the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, 2006
  • Miller Visiting Professor, Miller Institute, UC Berkeley, spring 2006
  • The I.M. Kolthoff Prize in Chemistry, 2002 (awarded by Technion, Israel Institute of Technology)
  • The Paolo Chini Memorial Award 1999 (awarded by the Italian Chemical Society)

Son of Musia and Abraham and younger brother of Lea, Milstein married to Adi Milstein in 1971, with whom he has three children: Nofit (b. 1972), Oren (b. 1976, cofounder of StemRad), and Abraham (b. 1983). He resides in the town of Rehovot in Israel.

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David Milstein's Timeline

June 4, 1947
Ulm, Tübingen, Baden-Württemberg, Germany