Ronald C. D. Breslow (1931 – 2017)

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  • Author: ChemViews Magazine
  • Published Date: 27 October 2017
  • Copyright: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA
thumbnail image: Ronald C. D. Breslow (1931 – 2017)

Ronald C. D. Breslow, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA, passed away on October 25.

In his research, he was interested in the design and synthesis of new molecules with interesting properties. An example is the cyclopropenyl cation, the simplest aromatic system. He established the concept of antiaromaticity and investigated the mechanism of action of vitamin B1. Later he dealt with the synthesis and mode of action of artificial enzymes or of molecules that simulate the action of enzymes with applications, for example, in new possible cancer drugs. He was one of the founders of biomimetic chemistry. His early works focussed on C–H activation.


Ronald C. D. Breslow, born in Rahway, New Jersey, USA, in 1931, gained his Ph.D. from Harvard University, Cambridge, MS, USA, in 1955 under the supervision of R. B. Woodward. He was an NRC fellow at Cambridge University, UK, before he was appointed professor at the Columbia University, USA.

Among many awards, Ronald Breslow received the US National Medal of Sciences in 1991 and the 1999 Priestley Award. He was a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the European Academy of Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and a foreign member of the Royal Society.

Selected Publications


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