Phil Baran
  • 2013 MacArthur Fellowship


Professor in the Department of Chemistry at the Scripps Research Institute. He was awarded the 2013 Macarthur Fellowship for “inventing efficient, scalable, and environmentally sound methods for recreating in the laboratory
natural products with potential pharmaceutical applications”

Education and Work Experience

1997-2001, Ph.D. at Scripps Research Institute
2001-2003, Postdoctoral Associate, Harvard University
2003-Present, Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, Professor, Darlene Shiley Professor, Department of Chemistry, Scripps Research Institute
2009-Present, Member of Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology

Honors and Awards

2010, ACS Award in Pure Chemistry
2013, Royal Society of Chemistry Synthetic Organic Chemistry Award
2013, MacArthur Fellowship
2017, Member of the United States National Academy of Sciences

Major Academic Achievements

Phil Baran is an organic chemist recreating pharmacologically interesting compounds isolated from natural sources de novo in the laboratory through an experimental methodology known as “total synthesis.” In nature, complex molecules are synthesized in catalytic pathways that have evolved incrementally over millions of years, but many cannot be harvested in sufficient quantities to provide viable pharmaceutical solutions.
Baran has invented new approaches to synthesizing natural products en masse, offering solutions for the cost and supply problems in drug development and creating alternative methods for obtaining industrial quantities of biologically active compounds with minimal environmental impact.