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Professor Peter O'Brien Highlights

Research Prizes

  • AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer & Syngenta prize for Process Chemistry Research, 2017

“For his creativity and published achievement in the area of lithiation-trapping of saturated nitrogen heterocycles, including his more recent work on the use of in situ React IR spectroscopy for monitoring the lithiation step”

  • RSC Organic Stereochemistry Award, 2013

“For his important contributions to asymmetric synthesis, particularly the development and  applications of the (+)-sparteine surrogate”

  • GlaxoWellcome prize for innovative research in organic chemistry, 2000

“For the development of practical syntheses of chiral diamines and of enantioselective epoxide rearrangement reactions”

  • RSC Meldola Medal, 1999

“For distinction in asymmetric organic chemistry based on the development and use of chiral bases”

Teaching Prizes

  • York University Student’s Union (YUSU) Teacher of the Year, 2019

  • University of York Vice-Chancellor’s Teaching Award for 2014-15


  • Royal Society Industry Fellow with AstraZeneca, 2019-2022

  • Panel Chair, EPSRC Physical Science Peer Review Panel, 2018

  • Chairperson of the RSC Heterocyclic and Synthesis Group, 2017-2020

  • Associate Editor of the international journal “Tetrahedron”, 1998-2017

  • Visiting Professor at the University of Utah, USA 2016

  • Visiting Professor at the University of Geneva, Switzerland 2006

  • Secretary/treasurer of the RSC Heterocyclic and Synthesis Group, 2005-2007

  • Member of the Organic Executive Committee of the RSC, 2005-2007

Invited Lectures at International Conferences, Universities and Companies

  • RSC Biological and Medicinal Chemistry Sector, Symposium on Synthesis & Drug Development (virtual), 2021

  • Pfizer, Groton, USA (virtual), 2020

  • University of Basel, Switzerland, 2019

  • University of Oxford, UK, 2018

  • 1st Alpine Winter Conference on Medicinal and Synthetic Chemistry, St Anton, Austria, 2018

  • AstraZeneca, Cambridge, UK, 2017

  • EPSRC Dial-a-Molecule: Synthetic Tools for the Exploration of 3D Pharmaceutical Space, York, UK, 2017

  • Lilly, UK, 2017

  • RSC Heterocyclic & Synthesis Group Lakeland Meeting, Grasmere, UK, 2017

  • 34th SCI Process Development Symposium, Cambridge, UK, 2017

  • Frank Warren Conference, Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa, 2016

  • University of Vienna, Austria, 2016

  • Astex, Cambridge, UK, 2016

  • 11th International Symposium on Carbanion Chemistry, Rouen, France, 2016

  • University of Rouen, Rouen, France, 2016

  • University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, 2016