Steven V. Ley

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Steven Ley
Born Steven Victor Ley
1945 (age 70–71)[1]
Alma mater Loughborough University of Technology (BSc, PhD)[2]
Thesis Studies in the chemistry of benzobicyclo systems (1972)
Doctoral advisor Harry Heaney[3]
Doctoral students
  • Donald Craig[4]
  • James Shearman[5]
  • Mike Willis[4]

James Frost[6]

Colin M. Pearson
Influences Derek Barton[7]
Notable awards

Steven Victor Ley FRS FRSC is the BP Professor of Organic Chemistry in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Cambridge, and is a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge. He was President of the Royal Society of Chemistry (2000–2002) and was made a CBE in January 2002, in the process. In 2011, he was included by The Times in the list of the “100 most important people in British science”.[9][10][11][12]


Ley was educated at Loughborough University of Technology where he was awarded a Bachelor of Science and PhD.[3][2]


Ley's main research field are the total synthesis of biomolecules. His group has published extensively on this topic, and has completed the synthesis of more than 140 natural target compounds, with notable examples including indanamycin, routiennocin, avermectin B1a, okadaic acid, spongistatin, thapsigargin, epothilone A, antascomicin B, bengazole A and rapamycin. His total synthesis of azadirachtin, completed in 2007, is widely regarded as one of the major landmarks in total synthesis. In the course of this work, he has also made substantial advances in many areas of organic chemistry, including the development of new catalysts, protecting groups and reagents. He is one of the inventors of TPAP, a widely employed oxidizing reagent. He has also pioneered the use of immobilized reagents and flow techniques in multi-step organic synthesis. This work now incorporates flow chemistry for multistep organic synthesis applications.

Honours and Awards[edit]

As of 2015 Ley's work of over 830 papers[13] has been recognised by about 40 major prizes and awards, the most recent of which are:


  1. ^ Steven V. Ley at Library of Congress Authorities, with catalog records
  2. ^ a b LEY, Prof. Steven Victor. Who's Who 2015 (online ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc.  (subscription required)
  3. ^ a b Ley, Steven Victor (1972). Studies in the chemistry of benzobicyclo systems. (PhD thesis). University of Loughborough. OCLC 801311581. 
  4. ^ a b "Past PhD Students". University of Cambridge. Archived from the original on 2015-04-20. 
  5. ^ Shearman, James (2011). Bromotyrosine-derived natural products : synthetic and biological studies (PhD thesis). University of Cambridge. OCLC 879378141.  open access publication - free to read
  6. ^
  7. ^ Ley, S. V.; Myers, R. M. (2002). "Sir Derek Harold Richard Barton. 8 September 1918 - 16 March 1998". Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society 48 (0): 1–23. doi:10.1098/rsbm.2002.0001. ISSN 0080-4606. 
  8. ^ a b c "Professor Steven Ley CBE FMedSci FRS". London: Royal Society. Archived from the original on 2015-11-17. 
  9. ^
  10. ^ Video with Steven Ley: "Introducing the Innovative Technology Centre"
  11. ^ Ley, Steven V.; Thomas, Andrew W. (2003). "Modern Synthetic Methods for Copper-Mediated C(aryl)—O, C(aryl)—N, and C(aryl)—S Bond Formation". Angewandte Chemie International Edition 42 (44): 5400–5449. doi:10.1002/anie.200300594. ISSN 1433-7851. 
  12. ^ "Professor Steven V. Ley CBE FRS Organic Chemistry Research Group". University of Cambridge. Archived from the original on 2015-09-27. 
  13. ^ Steven V. Ley's publications indexed by the Scopus bibliographic database, a service provided by Elsevier. (subscription required)
  14. ^ "Director of the Department of Chemistry, University of Cambridge, UK - Heinrich Wieland Prize 2009 for outstanding achievements in the synthesis of key natural products". Retrieved 2014-10-07. 
Academic offices
Preceded by
Alan Battersby
Professor of Organic Chemistry, Cambridge University
1992 -
Succeeded by