Ryoji Noyori life and biography

Ryoji Noyori picture, image, poster

Ryoji Noyori biography

Date of birth : 1938-09-03
Date of death : -
Birthplace : Kobe, Japan
Nationality : Japanese
Category : Science and Technology
Last modified : 2011-09-16
Credited as : chemist, nylon, Nobel Prize for Chemistry

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Japanese chemist Ryoji Noyori became intrigued by chemistry after attending a presentation on nylon when he was a boy, accompanying his father, who was also a chemist. He studied at Kyoto University, spent most of his career at Nagoya University, and won the Nobel Prize in 2000 for his use of the process of hydrogenation to develop catalytic asymmetric synthesis.

Noyori is currently a chairman of the Education Rebuilding Council, which was set up by Japan's PM Shinzo Abe after he came to power in 2006.

Noyori is most famous for asymmetric hydrogenation using as catalysts complexes of rhodium and ruthenium, particularly those based on the BINAP ligand. (See Noyori asymmetric hydrogenation) Asymmetric hydrogenation of an alkene in the presence of ((S)-BINAP)Ru(OAc)2 is used for the commercial production of enantiomerically pure (97% ee) naproxen, used as an anti-inflammatory drug. The anti-bacterial agent levofloxacin is manufactured by asymmetric hydrogenation of ketones in the presence of a Ru(II) BINAP halide complex.

He has also worked on other asymmetric processes. Each year 3000 tonnes (after new expansion) of menthol are produced (in 94% ee) by Takasago International Co., using Noyori's method for isomerisation of allylic amines.

Awards and honords:

CSJ Award for Young Chemists 1972
Matsunaga Prize 1978
Chunichi Cultural Prize 1982
Chemical Society of Japan Award 1985
Toray Science & Technology Prize 1990
ACS John Gamble Kirkwood Medal 1991
Tetrahedron Prize for Creativity in Organic Chemistry 1993 (with K. Barry Sharpless)
Keimei Life Science Prize 1994
Japan Academy Prize 1995
ACS Arthur C. Cope Award 1997
SCI Chirality Medal 1997
Person of Cultural Merit 1998
King Faisal International Prize in Science 1999
Japanese Order of Culture 2000
Nobel Prize for Chemistry 2001 (with William S. Knowles and K. Barry Sharpless)
ACS Roger Adams Medal 2001
Wolf Prize in Chemistry 2001 (with Henri B. Kagan and K. Barry Sharpless)
American Association for the Advancement of Science Foreign Member, 1996
American Academy of Arts and Sciences Foreign Member, 2001
Chemical Society of Japan President (2001-02)
European Academy of Arts, Sciences, and Humanities 2001
Japan Society for the Promotion of Science
Pontifical Academy of Sciences
Royal Society of Chemistry Foreign Member, 2000

Society of Synthetic Organic Chemistry, Japan President (1997-99)

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