Lászlo Kürti was born and raised in Hungary. He received his Diploma from Lajos Kossuth University (now University of Debrecen) where he conducted research in the laboratory of Professor Sándor Antus focusing on the total synthesis of benzofuranoid neolignans. Subsequently he received his Master of Science degree at the University of Missouri-Columbia, working with Professor Michael Harmata on inter- and intramolecular [4+3]-cycloadditions of halogen-substituted oxoallylic cations. He received his PhD degree (2006) in synthetic organic chemistry under the supervision of Professor Amos B. Smith III at the University of Pennsylvania, where he developed a new method for the construction of highly substituted and strained indoles that was applied in the synthetic studies toward the construction of the complex indole diterpenoid natural products, nodulisporic acids A and B.

During graduate school, Dr. Kürti authored the now popular textbook/reference book Strategic Applications of Named Reactions in Organic Synthesis with Dr. Barbara Czako, which is now used in dozens of academic institutions and research laboratories worldwide. Between 2007-2010, Dr. Kürti  was a Damon Runyon Cancer Fellow in the group of Professor E.J. Corey at Harvard University, where he was working on the development of potent antiangiogenic agents inspired by the structure of Cortistatin A.

In 2007 he co-authored the book Molecules and Medicine with Professor E.J. Corey and Dr. Barbara Czako. In February 2008, the Professional and Scholarly Division of the American Association of Publishers designated Molecules and Medicine “Best of Physical Sciences and Mathematics.” Professor Corey and Dr. Kürti just completed a book entitled Enantioselective Chemical Synthesis, available in October. This book provides in a single volume an up-to-date and panoramic view of all aspects of enantioselective chemistry. The reader who masters the information and ideas contained on its pages will be superbly positioned as a teacher or researcher in this exciting field of chemistry.


Graduate School University of Missouri-Columbia (2001), Chemistry
Graduate School University of Pennsylvania (2006), Chemistry

Research Interest

  • New enantioselective methods for C-C and C-X bond formation
  • New methods for the synthesis of heterocyclic compounds
  • Total synthesis of bioactive natural and unnatural products


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Enantioselective Chemical Synthesis
E.J. Corey and Laszlo Kurti BOOK Fall 2010 336 pages
he Origin of Enantioselectivity in the Jacobsen Epoxidation of Olefins
Kurti, Laszlo; Blewett, Megan M. and Corey, E.J. Organic Letters Fall 2009 11 4592-4595

Honors & Awards

  • Best of Physical Sciences and Mathematics in Professional and Scholarly Publishing
    For the book "Molecules and Medicine" written by E.J. Corey, Barbara Czako and Lászlo Kurti (2008)
  • Damon Runyon Cancer Fellowship
    Awarded by the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation (2007)
  • Outstanding Academic Title
    Designation By Choice Magazine for the book "Strategic Applications of Named Reactions in Organic Synthesis" written by Laszlo Kurti and Barbara Czako (2007)
  • Award for Excellence in Professional and Scholarly Publishing
    For "Strategic Applications of Named Reactions in Organic Synthesis" written by Laszlo Kurti and Barbara Czako. This award is given by the American Association of Publishers Scholarly Publishing Div. to acknowledge excellence in book publishing (2006)
  • Dean´s Teaching Award
    University of Pennsylvania (2006)