LA JOLLA, Calif., Sept. 26, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Thirty-six year old chemist, Phil Baran PhD, has been selected as a 2013 John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Fellow.
The fellowship, or "genius" award, includes a $625,000 grant distributed over five years and has no specific obligations or reporting requirements. Baran is a TSRI professor and alumnus, and the co-founder of Sirenas Marine Discovery.
"Anyone familiar with the contributions he has made to chemistry would agree that Phil is a visionary innovator and educator; the numerous accolades he's received are all well deserved," said Eduardo Esquenazi PhD, CEO of Sirenas Marine Discovery. "Sirenas Marine Discovery's mission to discover and translate marine derived chemistry into new, impactful medicines is a very challenging one. Although the molecules are incredibly promising from a therapeutic perspective, they are also extremely difficult to synthesize and develop into clinically viable drugs. Phil's extraordinary insights, attitude, and contributions to the field at as a whole, give the company an unprecedented edge in this regard. We're in awe of his accomplishments and thankful to have his energy and vision in helping craft the technical foundation for a successful and innovative company."
Individuals must be nominated for the MacArthur Fellowship. The selections are based on both past contributions of remarkable originality, and the promise of continued and substantial impact in their respective fields.
Dr. Baran has continuously pushed the boundaries of what is possible in organic synthetic chemistry. With his talented cadre of students at his laboratory at TSRI, he has focused his efforts on the invention of new reactions of broad utility and the synthesis of complex natural products in a scalable, economic fashion. At Sirenas Marine Discovery, Baran is helping push promising discoveries closer towards the clinic by helping optimize the production and properties of new, potential medicines inspired by complex marine natural products.
Baran, is a graduate of NYU (1997), TSRI (2001), post-doctoral fellow at Harvard (2003), and joined the TSRI faculty in 2003. He is the author of more than 100 papers and an interactive textbook, The Portable Chemist's Consultant: A Survival Guide for Discovery, Process, and Radiolabeling, available on iTunes.
SOURCE Sirenas Marine Discovery