Leroy Cronin

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Leroy Cronin
Dr. Leroy Cronin portrait.jpg
Cronin in 2015
Born (1973-06-01) 1 June 1973 (age 49)
Alma materUniversity of York
Known forChemistry
AwardsFRSE FRSC Philip Leverhulme Prize Corday–Morgan Prize; RSE BP Hutton Prize; Tilden Prize
Scientific career
FieldsChemistry, Nanoscience, Self Assembly, Systems chemistry, Complex Chemical Systems, Inorganic Biology, Supramolecular chemistry, Self-organization, 3D printing
InstitutionsUniversity of Glasgow
University of Birmingham
Research Institute for Electronic Science, University of Hokkaido
University of Bielefeld
University of Edinburgh
Doctoral advisorPaul. H. Walton

Leroy "Lee" Cronin FRSE FRSC (born 1 June 1973)[1] is the Regius Chair of Chemistry in the School of Chemistry at the University of Glasgow.[2][3][4] He was elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, the Royal Society of Chemistry, and appointed to the Regius Chair of Chemistry in 2013. He was previously the Gardiner Chair, appointed April 2009. In 2022, Cronin was suspended for three months from the Royal Society of Chemistry for a breach of their code of conduct.


Cronin was awarded BSc (1994) and PhD (1997) from the University of York. From 1997 to 1999, he was a Leverhulme fellow at the University of Edinburgh working with Neil Robertson. From 1999-2000 he worked as an Alexander von Humboldt research fellow in the laboratory of Achim Mueller at the University of Bielefeld (1999–2000). In 2000, he joined the University of Birmingham as a Lecturer in Chemistry, and in 2002 he moved to a similar position at the University of Glasgow.

In 2005, he was promoted to Reader at the University of Glasgow, EPSRC Advanced Fellow followed by promotion to Professor of Chemistry in 2006, and in 2009 became the Gardiner Professor. In 2013, he became the Regius Professor of Chemistry (Glasgow).

Cronin gave the opening lecture at TEDGlobal conference in 2011 in Edinburgh.[5] He outlined the initial steps his team at University of Glasgow is taking to create inorganic biology, life composed of non-carbon-based material.

Cronin has published over 450 papers,[6] and given 560 lectures. He runs a large research group[7] and holds EPSRC Programme, Platform Grants and was awarded a European Research Council (ERC) Advanced Grant.

Lee's work on assembly theory was recently the subject of an interview with Lex Fridman[8] and later with his collaborator[9] Sara Imari Walker

Awards and recognition

  • 2012 Royal Society of Chemistry Corday–Morgan medal[11]
  • 2014 recognised as one of the UK's top 10 Inspiring Scientists and Engineers (RISE)[12] as well as being recognised as one of the top 100 UK practising Scientists by the UK Science Council.[13]
  • 2015 Royal Society of Edinburgh BP / Hutton Prize for Energy innovation.[14] Royal Society of Chemistry Tilden Prize.[15]
  • 2018 American Chemical Society Inorganic Chemistry Lectureship[16]
  • 2020-2022 Cronin and his co-workers won a series of NIH challenge prizes for their work using the Chemputer and Assembly theory to explore chemical space to invent new drugs using a new platform for drug discovery to help treat Opiate additction.[17]

Cronin was the subject of a film entitled Inorganica, which documents the progress of his research in inorganic biology and origins of life.[18]


In 2022, the Royal Society of Chemistry announced Cronin had been suspended for a three month period following the hearing of a complaint by its disciplinary committee. Cronin was found to have breached the RSC's code of conduct.[19][20]

See also

  • Assembly theory, an experimentally verifiable way to detect signatures of extraterrestrial life, led by Cronin


  1. ^ "The Cronin Group". Archived from the original on 24 September 2011. Retrieved 10 September 2011. Cronin CV
  2. ^ "Prof Leroy Cronin". University of Glasgow. Retrieved 20 February 2011.
  3. ^ "University of Glasgow News Review: Tiny molecule is 10,000 times thinner than a single hair". Gla.ac.uk.
  4. ^ "Chips squeezed by nanoscale work". News.bbc.co.uk. 23 May 2005. Retrieved 31 October 2021.
  5. ^ Cronin, Lee (July 2011). "Making matter come alive". TED. Retrieved 14 March 2022.
  6. ^ "Leroy Cronin B-7752-2008 - ResearcherID.com". Researcherid.com.
  7. ^ "Main Page". Croninlab.com.
  8. ^ Lee Cronin: Origin of Life, Aliens, Complexity, and Consciousness | Lex Fridman Podcast #269, retrieved 8 August 2022
  9. ^ Alien Debate: Sara Walker and Lee Cronin | Lex Fridman Podcast #279, retrieved 8 August 2022
  10. ^ "Philip Leverhulme Prize Prizes" (PDF). Leverhulme Trust. Retrieved 28 July 2012.
  11. ^ "Corday–Morgan Prizes". Royal Society of Chemistry. Retrieved 20 June 2012.
  12. ^ "Leroy (Lee) Cronin - EPSRC website". Epsrc.ac.uk.
  13. ^ "2014 list of leading UK practising scientists". The Science Council. Retrieved 31 October 2021.
  14. ^ "Home - The Royal Society of Edinburgh". The Royal Society of Edinburgh.
  15. ^ "Tilden Prize". Royal Society of Chemistry. Retrieved 5 March 2023.
  16. ^ Howell, Brooke (15 March 2018). "Lee Cronin Wins 2018 Inorganic Chemistry Lectureship". ACS Axial.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  17. ^ "NIH Heal". NIH Challenge. 16 April 2021.
  18. ^ "Inorganica". Inorganica.co.uk.
  19. ^ Holden, John-Paul (16 July 2022). "Top scientist suspended from Royal Society of Chemistry". The Herald. Retrieved 16 July 2022. A Glasgow University spokesman said: "The university is aware that Professor Lee Cronin has had his membership of the Royal Society of Chemistry suspended for a three-month period, following a full independent investigation into a complaint made by a third party."
  20. ^ Inge, Sophie (15 July 2022). "Top chemist suspended by Royal Society of Chemistry". Research Professional News. Retrieved 25 July 2022. Lee Cronin (pictured), the University of Glasgow's regius chair of chemistry, was suspended for three months by the society, following a complaint, the RSC announced in Update, its monthly newsletter for members.

External links