Jay S. Siegel (b. 1959) earned a BSc in Chemistry from California State University - Northridge (1980), followed by an MA (1982) and PhD (1986) from Princeton working with Professor Kurt Mislow in the area of Structural Chemistry and Stereochemistry. During his studies at Princeton (1983), he received a Swiss Universities Grant (cf. Fulbright Grants) to study crystallography at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, with Professor Jack. D. Dunitz. After earning his Ph. D., he was awarded a NSF-CNRS postdoctoral fellowship (1985) to study supramolecular chemistry at the University of Louis Pasteur in Strasbourg with Jean-Marie Lehn. He began his independent career as Assistant Professor of Chemistry at UCSD (1986), was promoted to Associate Professor (1992) and Full Professor (1996). He was a US-NSF Presidential Young Investigator (1988), an American Cancer Society Jr. Fellow (1990), an Alfred P. Sloan Fellow (1992), and an Arthur C. Cope Scholar by the ACS (1998). He was elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (1998) and the Royal Society of Chemistry (2007). He has been visiting professor at Princeton, Caltech, University of Basel, the Weizmann Institute and Tokyo Institute of Technology. In 2003, he was appointed as Professor and co-director of the Organic Chemistry Institute of the University of Zurich and Director of its laboratory for process chemistry research (LPF). He is co-Editor in Chief of Topics in Stereochemistry and Chairs the editorial advisory board of Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry, as well as the EUCHEMS Organic Chemistry Division.
Molecular design, chemical synthesis, and structural analysis constitute the three principle components of modern stereochemistry. Robust transmission of structural and stereo-chemical information is fundamental to selective chemical processes like (bio)molecular recognition, enantioselective reactions, and the assembly of designed materials. Beyond symmetry and molecular bonding, stereochemical investigations draw upon concepts from many disciplines and implement techniques such as synthetic methodology, X-ray crystallography, NMR spectroscopy, and computational theory. As a result, research in this area combines synthetic and physical organic chemistry with an eye toward issues of material and life science.
The following specific topics are central to the current research:
♦ Non-planar aromatics, their metal complexes and physical properties
♦ Topological stereoisomers, dendrimers, and helicates
♦ Investigations into molecular recognition through polar interactions
♦ Influence of steric enshrouding on (reactive) species - e.g. silyl cations
♦ Heterocycles isosteric to ACGT(U) toward the molecular evolution of DNA/RNA
♦ Stereochemical Principles of Molecular gears and rotors