Phil Baran

2016 National Award Winner — Faculty

Phil Baran

Current Position:
Professor, Darlene Shiley Chair in Chemistry

The Scripps Research Institute

Organic Chemistry

Recognized for: Transformative research in the field of natural product synthesis and the development of new synthetic methodology that enables chemists to design scalable, efficient, economically-viable synthetic routes to potential new drugs

Areas of Research Interest and Expertise
:  Natural Product Synthesis; Methodology; C-H Functionalization; Catalysis; New Reagents; Organic Chemistry

Phil Baran


PhD, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla
BS, New York University

Phil Baran's research is centered in basic organic chemistry with the general goal of doing far more with much less.  From life-saving medicines to society-shaping materials, advances in these areas require that the field of synthetic organic chemistry continues to progress at a fundamental level.  Great opportunities await in this area with inventions and discoveries that can have a rapid and tangible effect on industry.

Roughly half of The Baran Laboratory is focused on developing rapid and efficient access to the most complex molecules from Nature for two reasons.  First, such efforts represent the ultimate proving ground for the deployment of new strategies and different ways of thinking about synthesis.  Secondly, exhilarating opportunities arise in such endeavors to invent new reactions that can open up new areas of chemical space.  The other half of the lab is developing methods, transformations, and reagents that can have the greatest impact to those working in the pharmaceutical and agrochemical industry.

"We are passionate about those problems in fundamental organic chemistry that have near-immediate impact to society, specifically to the heroes of chemistry that develop new medicines. Either by dramatically truncating the time it takes to make complex natural products or by inventing methods that solve real-world challenges, we are dedicated to Translational Chemistry."

Key Publications:  

  1. Qin T, Cornella J, Li C, Malins LR, Edwards JT, Kawamura S, Maxwell BD, Eastgate MD, Baran PS. A General Alkyl-Alkyl Cross-coupling Enables by Redox-active Esters and Alkylzinc Reagents. Science. 2016
  2. Gianatassio R, Lopchuk JM, Wang J, Pan CM, Malins LR, Prieto L, Brandt TA, Collins MR, Gallego GM, Sach NW, Spangler JE, Zhu H, Zhu J, Baran PS. Strain-release amination. Science. 2016
  3. Jørgensen L, McKerrall SJ, Kuttruff CA, Ungeheuer F, Felding J, Baran PS. 14-step Synthesis of (+)-Ingenol from (+)-3-Carene. Science. 2013
  4. Baran PS, Maimone TJ, Richter JM. Total Synthesis of Marine Natural Products Without Using Protecting Groups. Nature. 2007

Other Honors:

2016       Elias J. Corey Award
2015       College of Arts and Science Alumni Distinguished Service Award, New York University
2015       Reagent of the Year Award (EROS)
2014       Mukaiyama Award
2013       MacArthur Fellowship
2013       Royal Society of Chemistry Synthetic Organic Chemistry Award
2013       Fellow, Royal Society of Chemistry
2012       Present  Fellow, AAAS
2012       ACS San Diego Section Distinguished Scientist Award
2011        ISHC Katritzky Heterocyclic Chemistry Award
2010       Thieme-IUPAC Prize in Synthetic Organic Chemistry
2010       ACS Award in Pure Chemistry
2009      Raymond and Beverly Sackler Prize in the Physical Sciences

In the Media:

Phil Baran: Molecule Magician. The Scientist. February 1, 2014
The sultan of synthesis. Chemistry World. 11 April 2014
Not Just a Genius: Organic Chemist and New MacArthur Fellow, Dr. Phil Baran. Forbes. Oct 2, 2013