Robert Robinson Award 2013 Winner

Professor John Brown
Professor John Brown

University of Oxford

For his key contributions to the understanding of the mechanisms of organometallic catalysis, and the resulting practical applications through the introduction of new catalysts for synthesis.

About the Winner

John Brown is a Manchester graduate who did his PhD with Professor Arthur Birch there on metal-ammonia reductions This was followed by postdoctoral work with Professor Ronald Breslow at Columbia University and an independent Rothman's Fellowship at the Australian National University, Canberra. 

His first academic post was at the then new University of Warwick, for eight years, followed by a move to Oxford in 1974 to a Lectureship associated with a Tutorship at Wadham College. This remained his position until 2008, and he held a Leverhulme Emeritus fellowship for two years subsequently. 

In that period his main research involved catalysis by transition-metal complexes with emphasis on understanding their mechanisms and contributing to organic synthesis, especially asymmetric synthesis. The main project areas were asymmetric hydrogenation and directed hydrogenation catalysed by rhodium complexes, asymmetric hydroboration, palladium complex catalysed couplings, especially from alkenes, ligand synthesis (Quinap) and the mechanism of asymmetric autocatalysis. 

His work in catalysis has led to the award of the RSC Tilden Lecture in 1991, the RSC Prize in Organometallic Chemistry in 1993, election to the Royal Society in 1996, a share of the Descartes Award 2001, and the Pracejus Prize in 2005. 

He has held short-term Visiting Professorships in several European Universities including Aachen, Brno, Groningen, Heidelberg, Sassari, Strasbourg and Zaragoza.

Related Links

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University of Oxford

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