Barry Sharpless, Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 2001

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K. Barry Sharpless

Birthplace: Philadelphia, PA, USA
Immediate Family:

Son of Mr. Sharpless
Husband of <private> Sharpless (Dueser)
Father of <private> Sharpless; <private> Sharpless and <private> Sharpless

Occupation: Organic chemist, Nobel prize in Chemistry, 2001
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

    • <private> Sharpless (Dueser)
    • <private> Sharpless
    • <private> Sharpless
    • <private> Sharpless
    • father

About Barry Sharpless, Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 2001

Karl Barry Sharpless (born 28 April 1941) is an American chemist known for his work on stereoselective reactions.


Early years

Sharpless was born in Philadelphia. He graduated from Friends' Central School in 1959. He continued his studies at Dartmouth College (1963) and earned his Ph.D from Stanford University in 1968. He continued post-doctoral work at Stanford University and Harvard University. He holds honorary degree of Technical University of Munich.


Sharpless has been a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Stanford University. He currently holds the W. M. Keck professorship in chemistry at The Scripps Research Institute.

In 2001 he won a half-share of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work on stereoselective oxidation reactions (Sharpless epoxidation, Sharpless asymmetric dihydroxylation, Sharpless oxyamination). The other half of the year's Prize was shared between William S. Knowles and Ryōji Noyori (for their work on stereoselective hydrogenation). He also successfully epoxidized (using racemic tartaric acid) a C-86 Buckminster Fullerene ball, employing p-Cresol as solvent. Currently he spends much of his time promoting click chemistry, a set of highly selective, exothermic reactions which occur under mild conditions; the most successful variant of which is the azide alkyne Huisgen cycloaddition to form 1,2,3-triazoles.

Personal life

Sharpless married Jan Dueser on 28 April 1965. They have three children; Hannah (b. 1976), William (b. 1978), and Isaac (b. 1980)

Honorary Doctorates

Dartmouth College, 1995, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, 1995, Technical University, Munich, 1995, Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium, 1996, Wesleyan University, 1999

American Chemical Society Awards

Award for Creative Work in Organic Synthesis, 1983, Arthur C. Cope Scholar, 1986, Harrison Howe Award, Rochester Section, 1987, Remsen Award, Maryland Section, 1989, Arthur C. Cope Award, 1992, San Diego Scientist of the Year, San Diego Section, 1992, Roger Adams Award in Organic Chemistry, 1997, Top 75 Contributors to the Chemical Enterprise, 1998, Richards Medal, Northeastern Section, 1998, Carothers Award, Delaware Section, 1999.

Other Awards

Allan Day Award, Philadelphia Organic Chemists Club, 1985, Dr. Paul Janssen Prize, Belgium, 1986 (1st recipient), Prelog Medal, ETH, Switzerland, 1988, Sammet Award, Göthe University, Frankfurt-am-Main, 1988, Chemical Pioneer Award, American Institute of Chemists, 1988, Scheele Medal, Swedish Academy of Pharma Sciences, 1991, Tetrahedron Prize (with Noyori), 1993, Centenary Lectureship Medal, Royal Society of Chemistry, 1993, Cliff Hamilton Award, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, 1995, King Faisal Prize for Science, Saudi Arabia, 1995, Microbial Chemistry Medal, Kitasato Institute, Tokyo, 1997, Harvey Science & Technology Prize, Israel Inst of Tech, 1998, Rylander Award, Organic Reactions Catalysis Society, 2000, Chemical Sciences Award, National Academy of Sciences, 2000, Chiralty Medal, Italian Chemical Society, 2000, Rhone Poulenc Medal, Royal Society of Chemistry, 2000, Benjamin Franklin Medal, Franklin Institute, Philadelphia, 2001, Wolf Prize (with Kagan & Noyori), Weizmann Institute, 2001, John Scott Medal Award, City of Philadelphia, 2001, ISI Highly Cited Researchers Database, original member, 2001, Nobel Prize in Chemistry (with Knowles & Noyori), 2001, Distinguished Professor (Hon), Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, 2002,

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Barry Sharpless, Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 2001's Timeline

April 28, 1941
Philadelphia, PA, USA