François Diederich  (Deceased 2020)

Professor of Organic Chemistry

Prof. Dr. François Diederich
ETH Zurich

Laboratory of Organic Chemistry
Department of Chemistry and Applied Biosciences
Vladimir-Prelog-Weg 3
CH-8093 Zurich, Switzerland


Professor Diederich (b. 1952) received his diploma in 1977 and his doctoral degree (Dr. rer. nat.) in 1979 from the University of Heidelberg. Following postdoctoral studies at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) from 1979 to 1981, he was a research associate at the Max-Planck-Institute for medical research in Heidelberg. After his habilitation in 1985, he joined the faculty of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at UCLA as an associate professor (1985-1989) and as a full professor (1989-1992). Since April 1992, he is a professor of organic chemistry at ETH Zürich. He received the Otto Hahn Medal of the Max-Planck-Society (1979), the Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award (1987), the ACS Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award (1992), the Otto-Bayer-Preis für Chemie (1993), the Janssen Prize for Creativity in Organic Synthesis (2000) and the Havinga Medal (2000), the Humboldt Research Prize (2005), the Burkhard-Helferich Prize (2005), the August-Wilhelm-von-Hofmann-Denkmünze (GDCh, 2006), the ACS Ronald Breslow Award for Achievements in Biomimetic Chemistry (2007), and the Adolf-von-Baeyer-Denkmünze (GDCh, 2011), the Ernst Hellmut Vits-Preis (2014), the Prix Paul Metz (2014), and the EFMC Nauta Award for Pharmacochemistry (2016). He is a member of the Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina and of the Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften (BBAW), and the European Academy of Sciences and Arts, a foreign honorary member of the American Academy of the Arts and Sciences and of the Real Academia Española de Ciencias, and a foreign associate of the US National Academy of Sciences. Since 2012, he holds an honorary doctoral degree from the Technion (Haifa). Work in the Diederich group has been documented in more than 750 original publications.