David Crich

David Crich

Schaap Professor of Organic Chemistry


313-577-8822 (fax)


Chem 221



David Crich

Research Interest/Area of Expertise

  •  organic chemistry, synthetic methodology, oligosaccharide synthesis, peptide synthesis and mechanism, radical chemistry


David Crich was born and raised in Chesterfield, England. He graduated from the University of Surrey with a B.Sc. in Chemistry with French in 1981 before joining the group of Sir Derek Barton at the Institut de Chimie des Substances Naturelles (ICSN) in Gif sur Yvette, France. Under Barton he learned the rudiments of free radical chemistry and was responsible for the development of the Barton decarboxylation reaction, for which he was awarded the degree of Docteur ès Sciences by the Université de Paris XI (Orsay) in 1984.

After a further year at the ICSN as postdoc with Barton and Potier he took up a “new blood” lectureship in chemistry in the Christopher Ingold Laboratories of University College London. After five years at UCL working in the areas of diastereoselective free radical chemistry, acyl radical chemistry, enantioselective synthesis of ?-disubstituted amino acids, and carbohydrate chemistry, Crich moved to the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) where he stayed seventeen years, rising to the rank of Liberal Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor of Organic Chemistry. Work at UIC focused on the development of new stereo controlled methods for glycosidic bond formation and their application in oligosaccharide synthesis, the chemistry of free radicals and of alkene radical cations, and the development of environmentally benign reagents for organic synthesis. In 2007 Crich relocated to Wayne State University in Detroit as the Schaap Professor of Chemisty, before taking up the position of Director of the ICSN in Gif-sur-Yvette in 2009. Crich returned to Wayne State as the Schaap Professor in 2011 and leads a group working in the areas of glycochemistry, organic reactivity and antibiotic chemistry.

The underlying theme of much of Crich’s work is the symbiosis of mechanism and methodology/synthesis with careful physical organic studies underpinning much of the synthetic work to appear from his laboratory. His more than 320 published papers cover areas as diverse as the total synthesis of alkaloids, the development of new glycosylation methods, catalysis of radical reactions, and improved methods for peptide synthesis. His work has been recognized by the award of the first Franco-British prize of the Academie des Sciences in 1989, the Corday Morgan medal in 1990, the RSC Tate and Lyle Carbohydrate Chemistry prize in 1994, the Fellowship of the A. P. Sloan Foundation in 1994, the Wolfram Award of the American Chemical Society Carbohydrate Division in 2008, and the American Chemical Society A. C. Cope Scholar and Eurpoean Carbohydrate Society Emil Fischer Awards in 2011. Crich currently serves as the Editor-in-chief of the Electronic Encyclopedia of Reagents for Organic Synthesis (e-EROS). k 


Education – Degrees, Licenses, Certifications

  • B.Sc., University of Surrey, UK (1981)
  • D es Sciences, Université de Paris XI, France (1984, with DHR Barton)
  • Postdoctoral, Institut de Chimie des Substances Naturelles, Gif-sur-Yvette, France (1984-1985, with DHR Barton and P Potier )

Selected Publications

Mechanism of a Chemical Glycosylation, D. Crich, Acc. Chem. Res. 2010, 43, 1144-1153.

Methodology Development and Physical Organic Chemistry: A Powerful Combination for the Advancement of Glycochemistry, D. Crich, J. Org. Chem. 201176, 9193-9209.

Dissecting the Mechanisms of a Class of Chemical Glycosylation Using Primary 13C Kinetic Isotope Effects, M. Huang, G. E. Garrett, N. Birlirakis, L. Bohé, D. A. Pratt, and D. Crich, Nature Chemistry 20124, 663-667.

Synthesis, Characterization and Coupling Reactions of Six-membered Cyclic P-Chiral Ammonium Phosphonite-boranes; Reactive H-Phosphinate Equivalents for the Stereoselective Synthesis of Glycomimetics, A. Ferry, X. Guinchard, P. Retailleau, and D. Crich, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2012134, 12289-12301.

Cation Clock Permits Distinction Between the Mechanisms of ?- and ?-O- and ?-C-Glycosylation in the Mannopyranose Series; Evidence for the Existence of a Mannopyranosyl Oxocarbenium Ion, M. Huang, P. Retailleau, L. Bohé, and D. Crich, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2, 2012, 134, 14746-14749.

Dissecting the Influence of Oxazolidinones and Cyclic Carbonates in Sialic Acid Chemistry, P. K. Kancharla, C. Navuluri, and D. Crich, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 201251, 11105-11109.

N-O Bond as a Glycosidic Bond Surrogate; Synthetic Studies Toward Polyhydroxylated N-Alkoxypiperidines, G. Malik, A. Ferry, X. Guinchard, T. Cresteil, and D. Crich, Chem. Eur. J. 201319, 2168-2179. 

Currently Teaching

  • CHM 7200   Organic Structures and Mechanisms, 3 credit hours, F2017


Courses taught

CHM 7220   Organic Reactions and Synthesis, 3 credit hours   W2016
CHM 8810   Seminar in Organic Chemistry, 1 credit hours   W2016
CHM 5510   Chemical Synthesis Laboratory, 3 credit hours   F2016
CHM 8810   Seminar in Organic Chemistry, 1 credit hours   F2016