Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1941 where he began his university training at the University of Pennsylvania (BA, 1962), he obtained a Ph.D. degree in Chemistry just three years later at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1965). He directly moved to the University of Wisconsin where he was promoted to Professor of Chemistry in 1969 and subsequently became the Vilas Research Professor in 1982. He joined the faculty at Stanford as Professor of Chemistry in 1987 and became Tamaki Professor of Humanities and Sciences in 1990. In addition, he has been Visiting Professor of Chemistry in Germany (Universities of Marburg, Hamburg and Munich), Denmark (University of Copenhagen), France (Universities of Paris VI and Paris-Sud), Italy (University of Pisa) and Spain (University of Barcelona and Santiago de Compostela). In 1994 he was presented with a Docteur honoris causa of the Université Claude-Bernard (Lyon I), France, and in 1997 a Doctor Scientiarum Honoris Causa of the Technion, Haifa, Israel. He was appointed an Honorary Professor at the Shanghai Institute of Organic Chemistry in 2006 and received the Ulysses Medal from University College Dublin in 2013.He was elected to NAS in 1980 and the AAAS in 1982.

Research Interests

Professor Trost's work has been characterized by a very high order of imagination, innovation and scholarship. He has ranged over the entire field of organic synthesis, particularly emphasizing extraordinarily novel methodology which he deomonstrated translates to more efficient total synthesis of complex bioactive compounds.

Membership Type


Election Year


Primary Section

Section 14: Chemistry