Title and Description Page
Family Background and Early Education 1
Growing up in Uri. Desire to become a teacher. Attending the Oberrealschule in St. Gallen. Influence of parents. Continuing studies at the Eidgenossische Technische Hochschule (ETH).
Chemistry at ETH 3
Decision to pursue chemistry. Focus on organic chemistry. Influence of Leopold Ruzicka. Examinations with Vladimir Prelog. Research with Hans Schinz on sesquiterpene chemistry. Doctoral thesis on acid-catalyzed cyclization. Disproving Ruzicka's structure of zingiberene. Relationship between Ruzicka and Robert B. Woodward.
Synthesis of Natural Products 12
Work on colchicine. Race with Woodward research group. Decision to pursue synthesis of vitamin B12. Importance of corrin ligand system. Development of a model. Collaboration with Woodward group. Impact of Woodward-Hoffmann rules. Announcement of synthesis of vitamin B12. Failure to jointly publish results.
Position at ETH. Research funding. Influence of Ruzicka. Awards. Reflections on research.