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What can someone write about a Scientist who, at the age of 80, still produces cutting-edge research results?
Nine years after completion of my Ph.D. under his guidance, Prof. Corey remains my mentor and his unparalleled genius, his creativity, his standards of excellence and ethics (to name a few of his inspiring qualities) guide me in my every step in my career. When you have had the privilege of learning Chemistry next to Prof. Corey, it leaves an impact on you for the rest of your life.
I moved to The Netherlands two years after I finished my Ph.D. and I immediately realized what it meant to have been a former Corey group member. My shoulders carried (and still do!) a heavy weight!
The first time I heard about Prof. Corey was in the beginning of my junior year at MIT, when Prof. Corey was awarded the Nobel Prize. Reading in the NY Times about his life and his scientific achievements, I thought to myself “This is the person I would like to do my Ph.D. with!”. Little did I know then that my naïve (at the time) wish would come true two years later, when Prof. Corey accepted me in his group.
Just like everyone who embarks on a Ph.D. “adventure” in a top and demanding research group like that of Prof. Corey’s, I faced many challenges, difficulties and frustrations during my tenure there, yet the happy moments of discovery and success outweigh everything else and Prof. Corey’s guidance, ingenious ideas and encouragement made it all come to a successful conclusion.
I still remember my “defense”, right before which I had lost ten years of my life in agony…waiting outside Prof. Corey’s office for him to call me inside. The defense turned out to be a … friendly scientific discussion which lasted a little more than one hour. Prof. Corey made every effort to support me and to put me at ease during that unique experience!
It is not an exaggeration to say that with the exception of my parents, to whom I owe so much, Prof. Corey has been the single most influential person in my life.
Dear Prof. Corey, I thank you from my heart for what you have offered me so generously. I wish you a Very Happy Birthday with many more years in good health, happiness and great discoveries.