This person is known for their work on the isolation and structural elucidation of natural products.
They started their research career working on camphor oil, but soon moved on to investigating the chemical constituents of taiwanhinoki, isolated from Chamaecyparis taiwanensis, a species of cypress. This person isolated two compounds from hinoki oil that were found to be active against tuberculosis and some bacteria. One of these compounds was hinokitiol, for which this person confirmed the structure of a seven-membered ring and proposed tautomeric structures involving interconversion through intramolecular hydrogen bonding (pictured).
The non-benzenoid aromatic ring of hinokitiol fascinated this person, who went on to perform many reactions on it and its derivatives, leading to the synthesis of tropolone and tropone, and exploration of their reactivity. From troponoids, this person’s work expanded to include azulenoids and their synthesis from troponoids, and ring-fused systems containing seven-membered rings such as cycloheptabenzoxazine and cycloheptabenzothiazine.