Skip to main content

Corey, Elias James

Elias James Corey, 1928–, American organic chemist and educator, b. Methuen, Mass., grad. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (B.S. 1948, Ph.D. 1951). He has taught at the Univ. of Illinois (1951–59) and at Harvard, where he is the Sheldon Emery Professor of Chemistry. Using theoretical principles, he has done pioneering work in stereochemistry and synthetic chemistry, particularly with prostaglandins, macrolide antibiotics, and insect hormones. He formalized the concept of "retrosynthesis" in which intermediates between a complex target molecule and simple commercial chemicals are identified; he then synthesized the molecules (e.g., prostaglandin) via the intermediates. He has also developed numerous synthetic reactions and transformations, and was one of the first to use computer analysis to design syntheses. In 1990, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Corey, Elias James." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . 23 Apr. 2019 <>.

"Corey, Elias James." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . (April 23, 2019).

"Corey, Elias James." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved April 23, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.