Ohyun Kwon received her B.S. (1991) and M.S. (1993) from Seoul National University in South Korea. In 1993, she came to the U.S. to pursue her Ph.D. (1998) from Columbia University under the guidance of S. J. Danishefsky. Her thesis work involved the synthesis of biologically significant glycolipid, asialo GM1 and Globo-H human breast tumor antigen molecule, as well as complex phomoidride terpenoids, CP-225,917 and CP-263,114. She then went to Harvard University as a Howard Hughes Postdoctoral Fellow to study chemical genetics in S. L. Schreiber’s lab. There, she completed a diversity-oriented combinatorial synthesis (DOS) of a library of muticyclic compounds, as well as a library of macrocycles. Kwon joined the faculty as an assistant professor at UCLA in 2001. She has been a member of the Molecular Biology Institute (MBI) and UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center (JCCC) since 2005.
At the core of the Kwon group’s research lies the design and development of new reactions and reagents that empower the chemical synthesis of natural products and unnatural small molecules of medicinal significance. One of the central themes of the group’s research is the redox-based deconstructive radical chemistry of terpenes, terpenoids, and commodity chemicals, whereas another involves enantioselective phosphorus organocatalysis and the development of novel chiral phosphines such as the HypPhos catalysts now sold by Sigma–Aldrich.
Honors & Awards
- 2019 Novartis Chemistry Lectureship Award
- 2018 Boehringer Ingelheim Green Chemistry Award
- 2018 UC CAI Technology Development Award
- 2008 Glenn T. Seaborg Award
- 2008 Abbott Lecture, University of Notre Dame
- 2005 Thieme Journal Award, Synthesis and Synlett
- 2005 Faculty Career Development Award, UCLA
- 2004 Faculty Career Development Award, UCLA
- 2003 Amgen Young Investigator’s Award
- Columbia University KAST Fellowship