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    United Kingdom


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Biographical Information About Professor Karl J. Hale
Professor Karl J. Hale obtained his Ph.D in Synthetic Carbohydrate Chemistry from King’s College London in 1985 (Supervisors: Profs. Leslie Hough and Anthony Richardson). He then went on to do 4 years of postdoctoral research in natural product total synthesis with Professor Amos B. Smith III of the University of Pennsylvania. In 1989, he was appointed to a Senior Scientist position within the Medicinal Chemistry Division of F. Hoffmann-La Roche in Nutley, New Jersey, USA. In late 1990, he returned to the UK to take up a Lectureship in Organic Chemistry at UCL, being promoted to Senior Lecturer in 1995 and full Professor of Chemistry in 1998. In July 2007, Prof. Hale moved to become Professor of Organic & Medicinal Chemistry & Chemical Biology at the Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) School of Chemistry & Chemical Engineering, a role he currently occupies. Over the period, July 2007-July 2016, Professor Hale served three terms as Director of the QUB SynBioc Research Cluster and Head of Section, and he sat on the School Management Committee.

Since 1991, Prof. Hale has raised more than £4M in grant income from Research Councils and Industrial Sources and he has given over 215 outside invited Lectures at Universities and Companies all around the world, including at many major International Conference Symposia. His research interests are in: complex, pharmacologically-active, natural product total synthesis; synthetic carbohydrate chemistry; the development of new organic and organometallic reactions; physical organic and mechanistic organic chemistry; medicinal chemistry, most especially the development of novel drugs for treating cancers, COVID19, Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and autoimmune diseases. He also has research interests in natural product biosynthesis, chemical genomics, and cancer/AIDS/immunosuppression biology.


Professor Hale has been the recipient of a number of prestigious learned society awards, fellowships, and named lectureships that have included: the inaugural 2012 Royal Society of Chemistry All Ireland Symposium Lectureship (for significant contributions to the field of organic chemistry and raising the profile of chemistry in the region); the 2011 Royal Society of Chemistry Bader Award, Silver Medal and Lectureship (citation: "for outstanding contributions to organic chemistry, including elegant total syntheses and pioneering new synthetic methods of broad use to the community, and his significant contributions to the synthesis and medicinal chemistry of bioactive natural products and their analogs."); the 2011 National Science Council of Taiwan Visiting Lectureship of the Chemistry Research Promotion Center (citation: "This Lectureship is awarded very selectively to the chemists who are highly recognised worldwide"); the 2010 Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) Invitation Research Fellowship For Organic Chemistry; the 2007 Liebig Lectureship of the German Chemical Society (for outstanding research contributions to organic and medicinal chemistry and chemical biology); the 1998 Pfizer Academic Award for Organic Chemistry (citation: "for his landmark total synthesis of the antitumour antibiotic A83586C") and; the 1997 Zeneca Research Award for Organic Chemistry (citation:  "for his outstanding work on the total synthesis of complex natural products, in particular, the antitumour antibiotic A83586C").


From 2015-2020, Professor Hale served as a member of the high profile, award-winning, Royal Society of Chemistry, Biological & Medicinal Chemistry Sector Committee. For a period also, he served as a Member of Council of the Institute of Chemistry of Ireland. He is currently a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and a Chartered Chemist.


For fifteen years, from 2003-2018, Professor Hale served as an Associate Editor of the high-profile American Chemical Society Organic Chemistry Journal, Organic Letters, and before that he served on the Editorial Advisory Board of that journal, and the Editorial Advisory Board of the RSC communications journal, ChemComm.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Devlopment Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being


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