< Back to Inductees

Choung Un Kim, Ph.D.

Dr. Choung Un Kim was born in Tokyo, Japan in 1942. He became the first member of his family to go to college, attending the University of Tokyo in 1961, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences and a Master of Science degree in Organic Chemistry. He then emigrated to the United States in 1967 and obtained a PhD in Organic Chemistry at the University of Oregon by 1970. He then worked under Professor EJ Corey as a Post Doctoral Fellow at Harvard University, where they discovered the Corey-Kim oxidation reaction, which is used to synthesize aldehydes and ketones from primary and secondary alcohols.

Dr. Kim then went to work for Bristol-Myers for 21 years before joining Gilead Sciences in 1994. There he made his most important discovery, Oseltamivir (Tamiflu®), which has subsequently become a first-line therapy for influenza, both for treatment and prevention, as well as becoming a multi-billion dollar prescription drug. Dr Kim is currently the Vice-President of Chemistry for Gilead Sciences. His current projects include antivirals, antibacterials, and immunosuppressants. He resides in the San Francisco area with his wife. His interests include hiking and travel.

ACS Division of Medicinal Chemistry

Webmaster:  secretary@acsmedchem.org