Alfred Hassner (1930 – 2024)

Alfred Hassner (1930 – 2024)

Author: ChemistryViews

Professor Alfred Hassner, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan, Israel, has passed away on March 27, 2024.

Alfred Hassner made significant contributions to synthetic methodology, small ring synthesis, and heterocyclic chemistry, particularly in stereoselectively introducing nitrogen functionalities and synthesizing steroid heterocycles. He was anong the first to use NMR half-widths for stereochemical structure assignment and introduce concepts like regiochemistry and regioselectivity.

His research group explored various areas including regioselective additions, stereochemistry of azides, catalyst development, regiochemistry of 3+2 cycloadditions and 2+2 ketene-olefin cycloadditions, reactions of nitrogen-containing compounds, steroids, organosilanes, and medicinal chemistry. They also pioneered methodologies for synthesizing small and large ring heterocycles, such as aziridines, azirines, and azepines, and recently investigated TiCl-catalyzed reactions.


Alfred Hassner was born in 1930 in Czernowitz, Romania (now part of Ukraine). Surviving the Holocaust, he enrolled directly at the Technical University of Vienna, Austria, from 1949-1951 and received his B.Sc. from the University of Nebraska, USA, in 1952. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska, Mead, NE, USA, in 1956 under the supervision of Norman Cromwell, and then was a postdoctoral fellow with Louis Fieser at Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA. He joined the faculty at the University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, CO, USA, in 1957 and became a full professor in 1966. In 1975 he moved to SUNY at Binghamton, Vestal, NY, USA, and in 1983 he joined Bar-Ilan University, where he taught chemistry until 2020.

Among many other honors, Alfred Hassner received the von Humboldt Award, the Fulbright Senior Award, the Lady Davis Foundation Award, the Japan Society for Promotion of Science Award, the U.S. National Research Council Award, the A.W. Killam Award, and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Alfred Hassner served as President of the Israel Chemical Society (ICS) from 1991-1994, received the ICS Prize of Excellence in 2007, and was made an Honorary Member of the ICS in 2016 for his many years of scientific leadership in synthetic organic chemistry and his significant contributions to higher education in Israel. He has held visiting professorships and appointments at many universities worldwide, and has also served as a consultant to many companies.

Selected Publications




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