David MacMillan

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David MacMillan
Institutions Princeton University,
California Institute of Technology,
University of California, Irvine,
University of Glasgow,
University of California, Berkeley,
Harvard University
Notable awards Fellow of the Royal Society[1]

David W.C. MacMillan FRS[1] is a Scottish-born Professor of Organic Chemistry in the Department of Chemistry at Princeton University.[2]


Professor MacMillan was born in Bellshill, Scotland in 1968. He received his undergraduate degree in chemistry at the University of Glasgow, where he worked with Ernie Colvin.

In 1990, he left the UK to begin his doctoral studies under the direction of Professor Larry Overman at the University of California, Irvine. During this time, he focused on the development of new reaction methodology directed toward the stereocontrolled formation of bicyclic tetrahydrofurans. MacMillan's graduate studies culminated in the total synthesis of 7-(−)-deacetoxyalcyonin acetate, a eunicellin deterpenoid isolated from soft coral Eunicella stricta. Upon receiving his Ph.D., MacMillan accepted a position with Professor David Evans at Harvard University. His postdoctoral studies centered on enantioselective catalysis, in particular, the design and development of Sn(II)-derived bisoxazoline complexes (Sn(II)box).

MacMillan began his independent research career as a member of the chemistry faculty at the University of California, Berkeley in July 1998. He joined the department of chemistry at Caltech in June 2000, where his group's research interests centered on new approaches to enantioselective catalysis. In 2004, he was appointed as the Earle C. Anthony Professor of Chemistry. For personal reasons, he moved to Princeton University in September 2006.

Professor MacMillan's research group has made many advances in the field of asymmetric organocatalysis, and they have applied these new methods to the synthesis of a range of complex natural products.

Between 2010 and 2014, Professor MacMillan was the founding Editor-in-Chief of Chemical Science (journal), the flagship general chemistry journal published by the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Honours and Awards


  1. 1.0 1.1 http://royalsociety.org/people/david-macmillan/ Professor David MacMillan FRS
  2. "David MacMillan - The MacMillan Group". Princeton University. Retrieved 16 October 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Caltech Faculty Awards and Honors 2004–2005" (PDF). California Institute of Technology. Retrieved 2012-06-20.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "New Fellows 2012". Royal Society. Retrieved 2012-06-20.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

A short interview of Professor MacMillan is available on the Eminent Organic Chemists Website