At the Cross-roads Between Biology and Chemistry
The Ruzicka award was given this year to Karl Gademann – director, founder, and professor of the Chemical Synthesis Laboratory. He has been recognized for his work done in the field of natural substance synthesis. The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH Zurich) has awarded a sum of 10,000 Swiss francs to the professor, the highest figure in Switzerland for the field of Chemistry.
Karl Gademann’s research interests are located at the interface of chemistry and biology, where fundamental problems in science are investigated using synthetic natural products. The research group is thus working on the total synthesis of natural products, their isolation from natural sources (bioprospecting) and is carrying out in vivo biological investigations that may lead to advances in the fight against cancer, infectious diseases and neurological disorders. He is also attempting to bind certain molecules to a surface – a procedure that one day may have applications for implants and prosthetics and thus helping disabled persons. Karl Gademann was born in Zurich in 1972. He studied chemistry at ETH Zurich and recieved his doctorate there in 2000 after a year abroad at Harvard University. He has worked at EPFL since 2006, when he founded the Chemical Sythesis Laboratory.