Tokyo Tech News
Professor Keisuke Suzuki of the Department of Chemistry at Tokyo Institute of Technology has received the Japan Academy Prize for research on the total synthesis of complex natural products.
The Japan Academy Prize is an academic award bestowed on researchers who have achieved notable research landmarks.
Suzuki performed research on the total synthesis of biologically active natural organic compounds and the development of the synthetic reactions to achieve this goal. Although natural organic compounds produced by animals, plants, and microbes show a variety of useful biological activities, such compounds are often not available in sufficient quantities due to the constraints on the natural sources. In such cases, expectations turn to organic synthesis, but this is also problematic when the target structure is highly complex with many asymmetric centers and functional groups.
To address these issues, Suzuki developed new synthetic reactions and also designed unique synthetic pathways, enabling the total synthesis of such compounds. He exploited highly reactive chemical species in his reaction developments, and pioneered new useful methods for stereo-controlled organic synthesis. He succeeded in numerous total syntheses of complex natural products possessing composites of substructures of different biosynthetic origins, such as carbohydrates, terpenes, and polyketides.
I feel extremely honored. I would like to express my deep appreciation to many students and all of the staff. I also express my sincere gratitude to my academic advisors, colleagues, friends, and family.