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This interview covers the life of Koji Nakanishi from his early education in Egypt to his current work as Professor of Chemistry at Columbia University and Director of the Suntory Institute for Bioorganic Research in Japan. He discusses his education in wartime Japan, his fellowship years at Harvard University working with Louis Fieser, a succession of positions at various Japanese universities, and his eventual decision to go to Columbia University. Nakanishi's research on the structure of natural products and, more recently, their mode of action, and the development and use of infrared spectroscopy, NMR, and circular dichroism is discussed in some detail. The interview concludes with a brief discussion of his avocation, magic, and some general comments on the future of organic chemistry.
Born in Hong Kong, China on 11 May 1925. Education: B. Sc., Chemistry, Nagoya University (1947), Ph. D., Chemistry, Nagoya University (1954). Employment: 1950-1952 Harvard University ; 1955-1958 Nagoya University ; 1958-1963 Tokyo Kyoiku University ; 1963-1969 Tohoku University ; 1968-1977 International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology, Nairobi, Kenya ; 1979- Suntory Institute for Bioorganic Research, Osaka, Japan ; 1969- Columbia University.
Interview conducted by Leon B. Gortner at Columbia University.
Koji Nakanishi interviewed by Leon B. Gorter at Columbia University, 15 February 1985. (Philadelphia: Chemical Heritage Foundation, Oral History Transcript 0059.)..
Chemical Heritage Foundation (CHF).
Chemical Heritage Foundation.
No restrictions on access. Reproduction and use with permission Chemical Heritage Foundation.
Transcript has been indexed.