Victor Snieckus (1937 – 2020)

  • Author: ChemistryViews
  • Published Date: 21 December 2020
  • Copyright: Wiley-VCH GmbH
thumbnail image: Victor Snieckus (1937 – 2020)

Professor Victor Snieckus, Queen's University, Kingston, ON, Canada, passed away on December 18, 2020.

He is best known for his contributions to organic synthesis, especially to the reaction coined as the directed ortho metalation reaction (DoM). It has achieved Name Reaction status and has found wide application in the preparation of pharmaceuticals (anti-AIDS, anti-inflammatory) and agrochemicals (antifungal for grain crops).

Victor Snieckus was born on August 1, 1937, in Kaunas, Lithuania. He studied chemistry at the University of Alberta, Canada, and the University of California, Berkeley, USA, and received his Ph.D. from the University of Oregon, Eugene, USA, in 1965. From 1965 to 1966, he was a postdoctoral researcher working with O.E. Edwards at the National Research Council, Ottawa, Canada. From 1967 to 1971, Victor Snieckus was an Assistant Professor at the University of Waterloo, Canada, from 1971 to 1979, an Associate Professor, and from 1979 to 1992, a Professor at the same university. He became Bader Chair in Organic Chemistry at Queen’s University in 1998, he became Bader Chair in Organic Chemistry Emeritus in 2009, and was Snieckus Innovations Director since 2009. The company is dedicated to small molecule synthesis for the pharmaceutical industry.

Among many other honors, Professor Snieckus received the Humboldt Research Award (Humboldt-Forschungspreis) in 1996, the International Society for Heterocyclic Chemistry Award in 2001, the AstraZeneca Excellence Award in Organic Synthesis in 2001, the Bernard Belleau Award of the Canadian Society for Chemistry in 2005, the Gedimino Order of the Republic of Lithuania, and the Honoris causa of Tallinn University of Technology. He became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 1993 and a Fellow of the American Chemical Society (ACS) in 2009. He was strongly involved in many chemical societies, the organization of the biennial Balticum Organicum Syntheticum (BOS) conference, and in many journals as an Editor and Board Member, for example, for Synlett and Science of Synthesis.

Selected Publications


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Michael Harmata wrote:


I communicated last with Vic in early November. Vic, Ken Wärnmark ,and I have had a nice collaboration for about 10 years. Vic was always witty and fun, but demanding of excellence and filled with chemistry knowledge and history. It was a joy to have known him. RIP, my friend. Mike Harmata

Tue Dec 22 16:33:25 UTC 2020

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