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Sarah Reisman: Better synthesis of natural compounds

Chemist hunts for recipes to brew seemingly impossible-to-synthesize molecules

By
10:52am, September 22, 2015
Sarah Reisman headshot

CREATIVE CHEMISTRY  Sarah Reisman spends her days thinking about innovative ways to build complicated chemical compounds that could lead to new drugs for numerous ills.

Sarah Reisman, 36
Caltech | Organic Chemistry
Graduate school: Yale

Organic chemistry haunts most pre-med students, but not Sarah Reisman. The two-semester class was so invigorating that she abandoned her pre-med major to pursue chemistry.

“Organic chem presented me with this idea that we could do things that are new,” says Reisman, who heads a lab at Caltech. “The idea that I could design a brand new way to make a molecule, there was this real creative component,” she says.

Reisman got the science bug in high school through a program that paired local students with scientists at the MDI Biological Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine. As an undergraduate at Connecticut College in New London, she worked in the lab of

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