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Phil Baran finds simple recipes for complex molecules

Chemist’s philosophy is to closely mimic how molecules are produced in nature

By
11:08am, September 21, 2016
Phil Baran

Chemist Phil Baran draws on artistry and creativity to efficiently synthesize molecules that could improve people’s lives.

Phil Baran, 39
Chemist
Scripps Research Institute

This is not chemist Phil Baran’s first rodeo: It’s clear that he has done media interviews before. In his Scripps Research Institute office perched above a golf course along the Pacific Ocean in La Jolla, Calif., he is at ease, helpful and patient answering basic questions — why is it important to develop a new way to make a carbon-carbon bond? — as well as opining about how chemists would be better off going after more private research funding, why mentorship is still the best model for science training and his sense that the public (unjustly) thinks of chemistry as a bad word. People take for granted the many products that we rely on every

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