Cesare Gennari was born in Milan (Italy) in 1952. He graduated as “doctor in chemistry” cum laude from Milan University in 1975.
After becoming an assistant professor at the same University in 1978 in the group of professor Carlo Scolastico, he joined professor Clark Still's group at Columbia University (New York) as a postdoctoral research associate in 1982-83. In 1985 he became an associate professor at Milan University, and in 1994 he accepted the appointment as full professor of organic chemistry at the same University. In the period 2005-2008 he has been deputy-director of the Department of Organic and Industrial Chemistry, and director of the same Department during 2008-2012. In the period 2012-2018, he has been a member of the Academic Senate of Milan University.
His awards include a NATO senior fellowship (1985), the Ciamician medal of the Organic Division of the Italian Chemical Society (1986), the Federchimica prize (1993), the Karl Ziegler-Giulio Natta award and lecture (Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker & Italian Chemical Society, 1997), the Merck Frosst lecture (University of Toronto, 2005-2006), the “Prize for research in synthetic organic chemistry” of the Organic Division of the Italian Chemical Society (2006), the AstraZeneca lecture (University of Sheffield, 2010), the Quilico gold medal of the Organic Division of the Italian Chemical Society (2013), and the Piria gold medal of the Italian Chemical Society (2017).
He is presently (2017- ) member of the International Advisory Board of the European Journal of Organic Chemistry (chairman of the Editorial Board 2013-2016, member of the Editorial Board 2008-2012, member of the International Advisory Board 1998-2004), and has been a member of the consulting board of editors of Tetrahedron:Asymmetry since its foundation (1990-2017). In the period 1998-2001 he has been a member of the IUPAC Organic Chemistry Division Committee, and he is presently a IUPAC fellow since 2004. From 2015 he is a ChemPubSoc Europe Fellow.
He has obtained many international research grants (NATO 1988-91, EC Twinning research grant 1990-93, NATO 1992-94, EC Network HCM grant [Network Coordinator] 1993-96, NATO 1995-99, EC “Marie Curie” grants 1996-2007, EC Network IHP grants 1996-2006, EC Network “Marie Curie” grants 2006-2010, 2012-2016 [Network Coordinator], 2015-2018 and 2019-2023).
His research interests include the design and development of new enantioselective methods, and their application to the synthesis of natural and unnatural targets with interesting biological and chemical properties. More recently, he has been involved in the synthesis and bio-medical applications of tumor-targeting peptidomimetics, and in the development of new catalytic methodologies for organic transformations. He is the author/coauthor of 6 patents, 6 chapters of books and > 200 papers published in international, refereed journals in the 1978-2019 period (h index = 46).