American chemist, winner of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1990,
principally for his work in "retrosynthetic analysis," a technique
for simplifying the synthesis of large complex molecules.
In the retrosynthetic analysis that Corey developed, chemists start
with the target molecule and work backward, carefully analyzing its
structure and dissecting it piece by piece. By systematically breaking
key chemical bonds that join the major components of the target molecule,
chemists ultimately arrive at a set of simple precursors. These then
can be reassembled into the target molecule in the least possible number
of steps using the simplest possible reactions, thereby making the synthesis
faster, cheaper, and more efficient.
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