Rolf Huisgen (1920 – 2020)

Rolf Huisgen (1920 – 2020)

Author: ChemViews Magazine

Professor Rolf Huisgen, University of Munich, Germany, passed away on March 26, 2020.

Huisgen’s research was focused on organic reaction mechanisms and the orbital control of reactivity. He was best known for his work on 1,3-dipolar cycloaddition reactions, also known as Huisgen cycloadditions.

Rolf Huisgen was born in Gerolstein, Germany, on June 13, 1920. He studied chemistry at the universities of Bonn and Munich, both Germany, and received his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of Munich in 1943 under the supervision of Heinrich Otto Wieland. He was Associate Professor at the University of Tübingen, Germany, from 1949 to 1952 and returned to Munich as Full Professor of Organic Chemistry in 1952. He remained there until his retirement in 1988, and continued his research as Professor Emeritus.

Huisgen was a Member of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, as well as an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) and an Honorary Member of the Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker (GDCh, German Chemical Society) and the Chemical Society of Japan (CSJ). Among many other honors, he received the Liebig Medal from the GDCh in 1961, the Lavoisier Medal from the Société Chimique de France (SCF, French Chemical Society) in 1965, and the Adolfo Quilico Medal from the Società Chimica Italiana (SCI, Italian Chemical Society) in 1987, as well as multiple honorary doctorates.

Selected Publications



  1. Grzegorz Mlostoń

    Dear Editor,

    I would like to add that Rolf Huisgen got also the title ‘Honorary Member of the Polish Chemical Society’ in 1993.


    Grzegorz Mlostoń (former associate of RH in the Munich laboratory)


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