Prof. Yasuyuki Kita (professor, the Research Organization of Science and Technology; professor emeritus, Osaka University) has won the E.C. Taylor Senior Award for this year. He will receive the award in a ceremony to be held during the 26th Congress of the International Society of Heterocyclic Chemistry in Regensburg, Germany, in September 2017.
Prof. Kita has achieved the first total synthesis of such complex heterocyclic bioactive substances as Discorhabdins C and A, Fredericamycin A and r-Rubromycin. The Negishi and Suzuki cross coupling reactions forming carbon-carbon bonds became well known after the two Japanese chemists received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2010. In order to produce these reactions, however, it was necessary to coat chemical compounds with metal or halogen or to use a rare metal catalyst. Prof. Kita made these processes unnecessary with the use of an iodine reaction agent. His method, considered as a revolutionary cross coupling reaction, is capturing global attention because it allows not only conventional carbon-carbon cross couplings but also cross couplings of heterocyclic compounds containing nitrogen, oxygen and sulfur which have been difficult to produce with traditional methods. And because Prof. Kita’s reaction does not require the use of rare or heavy metals, it has been acclaimed as safe and sustainable green chemistry.
E.C. Taylor Senior Award:
The International Society of Heterocyclic Chemistry (ISHC) was established by Dr. Raymond N. Castle in New Mexico in the United States in 1968. The ISHC Senior Award has been given to outstanding heterocyclic chemists since 1981. The award started carrying the name E.C. Taylor in 2013 to honor the professor who received the award in 1989. One person is chosen for the award at the ISHC congress held once every two years.
Prof. Kita’s comment:
I was greatly surprised when I heard from ISHC President, Prof. Oliver Reiser., that I had been chosen to receive the award. It is a great honor and I am happy that the results of my long-standing research have been recognized.
Prof. Yasuyuki Kita is now serving as a visiting research professor at the Research Organization of Science and Technology, and director at Research Center for Drug Discovery and Development Science, Ritsumeikan University. He is also a member of Science Council Japan.
He was teaching at Osaka University as assistant professor, associate professor and as professor from 1972 to 2008. Then, he was appointed as professor and the Dean of College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Ritsumeikan University from 2008 to 2015.