Professor Ari M.P.Koskinen was born on September 22, 1956 in Finland. He received his M.Sc. (Chem. Eng.) in 1979 (with professor T. Hase, development of the synthesis of alkyl tert -alkyl ethers for anti-knock agents), Licentiate in Technology in 1982 and Doctor of Technology in 1983 (with professor M. Lounasmaa, methodology development on the modified Polonovski reaction for indole alkaloid synthesis), all at the Helsinki University of Technology, Finland. After postdoctoral studies at the University of California, Berkeley (professor Henry Rapoport 1983-85 and 1987-88, total synthesis of anatoxin-a, and conformationally constrained peptidomimetics) he accepted an appointment as a Project Leader in New Drug Development at Orion Corporation - Fermion, Finland (1985-1987). His research group was among the first in Scandinavia to adopt computer aided drug design (QSAR and CoMFA) as well as computerized database handling protocols in new lead identification. Returning to the Academia, he joined the University of Surrey, England, as a lecturer in 1989. He was then appointed as Professor of Chemistry (especially Synthetic Organic Chemistry) at the University of Oulu, Finland in 1992, and transferred to his current position at the Helsinki University of Technology in August, 1999 as Professor of Organic Chemistry (the old Gustav Komppa chair). He also holds docentships at the Universities of Helsinki and Turku, Finland. Prof. Koskinen is a member of the Finnish Academy of Sciences and Letters since 2003, and member of the Novartis Foundation International Scientific Advisory Panel since 2004.
The main objective of his research interest is to develop novel synthetic technologies for the construction of complex natural and non-natural compounds with multiple chiral centers in enantiopure form. An extension of this work is to apply these structures to directed biological recognition phenomena. The development of synthetic methodology is centered on understanding basic phenomena of weak forces controlling the reactivities of chemicals through subtle conformational effects. Target applications include asymmetric cyclopropanation reactions, catalytic asymmetric oxidation methods, and novel enantiocontrolled carbon-carbon bond formation reactions using chiral phosphonate reagents and/or organo(metallic)catalysis.
He is the author or co-author of some 160 publications, fifteen patents and two books.
Professor Koskinen is active both nationally and internationally (member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Finnish Chemical Industry Federation, a founding member of the European Chemical Society, European Society for Combinatorial Sciences, and management committees of EU-research programs).