Stephen L. Buchwald was born (1955) in Bloomington, Indiana. He received his Sc.B. degree from Brown University in 1977 where he worked with Kathlyn A. Parker and David E. Cane at Brown University as well as Professor Gilbert Stork at Columbia University. He entered Harvard University as a National Science Foundation Predoctoral Fellow in 1977 and received his Ph.D. in 1982. His thesis work, with Jeremy R. Knowles, concerned the mechanism of phosphoryl transfer reactions in chemistry and biochemistry. He then was a Myron A. Bantrell postdoctoral fellow at Caltech with Professor Robert H. Grubbs where he studied titanocene methylenes as reagents in organic synthesis and the mechanism of Ziegler-Natta polymerization. In 1984 he began as an Assistant Professor of chemistry at MIT. He was promoted to the Associate Professor (1989) and to Professor (1993) and was named the Camille Dreyfus Professor in 1997. In July 2015, he became Associate Head of the Chemistry Department at MIT. During his time at MIT he has received numerous honors including the Harold Edgerton Faculty Achievement Award of MIT, an Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award, the 2000 Award in Organometallic Chemistry from the American Chemical Society and a MERIT award from the National Institutes of Health. In 2000, he was elected as a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and in 2008 he was elected as a member of the National Academy of Science. He has also been the recipient of the Bristol-Myers Squibb Distinguished Achievement Award and the CAS Science Spotlight Award, both received in 2005 and the American Chemical Society's Award for Creative Work in Synthetic Organic Chemistry as well as the Siegfried Medal Award in Chemical Methods which Impact Process Chemistry, both received in 2006. In 2010 he received the Gustavus J. Esselen Award for Chemistry in the Public Interest. He received the 2013 Arthur C. Cope Award from the American Chemical Society. In 2014 he was the recipient of the Linus Pauling Medal Award and the Ulysses Medal (University College Dublin). In 2015 he received the BBVA Frontiers in Knowledge Award in Basic Sciences (2014 Award). He was selected to receive the 2016 William H. Nichols Medal and he is the recipient of the 2018 Roger Adams Award in organic chemistry. Steve was awarded the Wolf Prize in Chemistry (2019), Yamada-Koga Prize (2020, to be awarded in 2023), Paul Karrer Gold Medal University of Zürich (2021) and the Akira Suzuki Award from the ICReDD (2021). He is the coauthor of over 500 published or accepted papers and 49 issued patents. He serves as a consultant to a number of companies and is an associate editor of Advanced Synthesis and Catalysis.
Photo Credit: Justin Knight