Steven V. Ley

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Steven Ley
Born Steven Victor Ley
Institutions University of Cambridge

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”.[1][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]

Steve Ley's work of over 800 papers has been recognised by about 40 major prizes and awards, the most recent of which are:


  1. ^
  2. ^ Video with Steven Ley: "Introducing the Innovative Technology Centre"
  3. ^
  4. ^ Tetrahedron Prize for Creativity in Organic Chemistry
  5. ^ "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 7 October 2014. 
Academic offices
Preceded by
Alan Battersby
Professor of Organic Chemistry, Cambridge University
1992 -
Succeeded by