Women Named Organic Reactions

Women Named Organic Reactions

Author: ChemViews

Julie A. Olson and Kevin M. Shea, Smith College, Northhampton, MA, USA, introduce four reactions named for women and nine reactions discovered or developed by women. They paint a more detailed picture of these remarkable women and their outstanding accomplishments, using information obtained from the literature and, whenever possible, through interviews with the chemists themselves, their associates, and their advisers.

  • Irma Goldberg, the only woman unambiguously recognized with her own named reaction.
  • Gertrude Maud Robinson, the wife of Robert Robinson, who collaborated with him on several projects including the Piloty−Robinson pyrrole synthesis.
  • Elizabeth Hardy, a Bryn Mawr graduate student who discovered the Cope rearrangement.
  • Dorothee Felix, a critical member of Albert Eschenmoser’s research lab for over forty years who helped develop both the Eschenmoser−Claisen rearrangement and the Eschenmoser−Tanabe fragmentation.
  • Jennifer Loebach, a University of Illinois undergraduate who was part of the team in Eric Jacobsen’s lab that discovered the Jacobsen−Katsuki epoxidation.
  • Keiko Noda, a graduate student in Tsutomu Katsuki’s lab who also played a key role in the development of the Jacobsen−Katsuki epoxidation.
  • Lydia McKinstry, a postdoc in Andrew Myers’s lab who helped develop the Myers asymmetric alkylation.
  • Rosa Lockwood, a graduate student at Boston College whose sole publication is the discovery of the Nicholas reaction.
  • Kaori Ando, a successful professor in Japan who helped develop the Roush asymmetric alkylation as a postdoc at MIT.
  • Bianka Tchoubar, a critically important member of the organic chemistry community in France who developed the Tiffeneau−Demjanov rearrangement.


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