Seth Herzon

Member of Yale faculty since 2008

Research Interests


Emergence is the phenomenon by which novel properties arise from interactions of simpler fragments which lack that property at a given level of hierarchical complexity.  In chemical systems such as polyfunctional natural products, emergent properties are difficult if not impossible to predict, even when very detailed information about the interacting fragments is available.  Efforts to analyze natural products without considering their emergent phenomena typically fail as an approach to identifying the most interesting functional features of these molecules.  Therefore, our laboratory is working to formalize a study of emergence in bioactive natural products, with the ultimate goal of connecting the modular, evolved chemical reactivity within a natural product with cellular phenotype.  Studies of this nature enrich our understanding of structure, bonding and reactivity in complex settings, motivate advances in synthetic strategy and methodology, and provide a blueprint for the creation of novel molecules with desired, complex properties, with implications for human health.


B.S. Temple University, 2002
Ph.D. Harvard University, 2006
Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Illinois, 2006-2008


Petroleum Research Fund Undergraduate Research Fellowship, 2001-2002
The F. Albert Cotton and Al Tulinsky Prize, 2002
National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, 2003
Harvard University Certificate of Distinction in Teaching, 2003
National Institutes of Health Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2006
Lilly New Faculty Award, 2008
Searle Scholar Award, 2010
American Cancer Society Research Scholar Award, 2010
Synthesis/Synlett Journal Award, 2011
Packard Fellowship in Science and Engineering, 2011
NSF CAREER Award, 2012
Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship, 2012
Cottrell Scholar Award of the Research Corporation for Scientific Advancement, 2012
Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award, 2012
Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals Creative Synthetic Organic Chemistry Award, 2012
Amgen Young Investigator Award, 2013
Eli Lilly Grantee Award, 2013
Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award, 2014
Natural Products Reports Emerging Investigator Lectureship, 2015
Novartis Chemistry Lectureship, 2016
Defense Science Study Group, Sponsored by the Institute for Defense Analyses, 2018-2019
Elias J. Corey Award for Outstanding Original Contribution in Organic Synthesis by a Young Investigator, 2018
Tetrahedron Young Investigator Award (Organic Synthesis), 2018

Selected Publications