Reactions: Ang Li

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Ang Li is in the Shanghai Institute of Organic Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences and works on the total synthesis of biologically active natural products.

1. What made you want to be a chemist?

Fascinating structures of organic molecules and unimaginable functions accompanying these structures.

2. If you weren’t a chemist and could do any other job, what would it be – and why?

A differential geometrist. I would like to use another language to describe and study structures.

3. What are you working on now, and where do you hope it will lead?

Total synthesis of biologically active natural products. It may lead to discovery of new reactivity and functions of organic compounds.

4. Which historical figure would you most like to have dinner with – and why?

The late Chinese philosopher Liang Shuming. To talk with him about the fate of Chinese culture.

5. When was the last time you did an experiment in the lab – and what was it?

A few weeks ago, I separated a synthetic sample of a natural product out of 3 very close bands on preparative TLC plate.

6. If exiled on a desert island, what one book and one music album would you take with you?

China: A Macro History by Ray Huang; Tao of Peace by Dean Evenson and Xiangting Li

7. Which chemist would you like to see interviewed on Reactions – and why?

Profs. Dawei Ma and Zhen Yang. Both fellows are my role models, who have made great contribution to China’s organic synthesis, especially natural product total synthesis.

Anne Pichon

Senior Editor, Nature Chemistry, Springer Nature

Anne received a broad training in chemistry at the National Graduate School of Chemistry in Montpellier, France. She then focused on inorganic and supramolecular chemistry and obtained her MPhil and PhD degrees from the Queen's University Belfast, UK, investigating porous coordination polymers for host–guest applications. After an internship with Nature Reviews Drug Discovery, Anne moved to John Wiley and Sons in 2007 as an assistant editor of the Society of Chemical Industry journals. She joined Nature Chemistry in October 2008, and was initially based in Tokyo where she also worked on other publishing projects with Nature Asia-Pacific. In April 2013, Anne relocated to the London office and now works full time on the journal.