Last updated on: 10/17/2008 | Author:

Carl Djerassi, PhD Biography

Professor Emeritus in the Department of Chemistry at Stanford University
Con to the question "Should Performance-Enhancing Drugs Be Accepted in Sports?"

“Though logical, such acceptance or legalization of performance-enhancing aids has serious ramifications. I predict that a new subset of drugs – for which I propose the term ‘lusuceuticals’…will arise. These new drugs will follow the model of commercially successful products labeled ‘nutraceuticals’ and ‘cosmeceuticals’ that have already crossed the sharply defined boundaries of standard pharmaceuticals designed to treat diseases…

But will lusu-chemists…limit themselves to much safer anabolic drugs, now that detectability will be of no concern? Or will they head into much more questionable directions, such as growth hormone analogs that will lead to 71/2-foot-tall pole vaulters or basketball players?…

Whatever we do in terms of legalizing drug abuse in athletics, we are heading in the direction of changing the Olympics from a competition of athletes to one of chemists, where the emphasis will shift abruptly from body to mind…

As a chemist, I ought to welcome such a prospect, because the mind does not deteriorate as rapidly as the body. Nevertheless, I dread such a future.”

“Athletes and Steroids: Will Tomorrow’s Game Involve Drug Advisers?,” San Francisco Chronicle, Oct. 7, 2007

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Emeritus Professor of Chemistry, Stanford University, 2002-present
  • Professor of Chemistry, Stanford University, 1959-2002
  • Chairman of the Board, Zoecon Corporation, 1983-1988
  • Chief Executive Officer, Zoecon Corporation, 1968-1983
  • President, Syntex Research, 1968-1972
  • Professor of Chemistry, Wayne State University, 1952-1959
  • Associate Director of Chemical Research, Syntex, SA, Mexico City, 1949-1952
  • Received 20 honorary doctorates, the first Wolf Prize in Chemistry, the first Award for the Industrial Application of Science from the National Academy of Sciences, the Erasmus Medal of the Academia Europeae, the Perkin Medal of the Society for Chemical Industry, the Gold Medal of the American Institute of Chemists, and the American Chemical Society’s Priestley Medal
  • PhD, University of Wisconsin, 1945
  • AB, summa cum laude, Kenyon College, 1942
  • None found