Emeritus Prof. David Black

Prof. David Black


David St Clair Black

M.Sc. Syd., Ph.D. Camb., AMusA, CChem, FRACI, AO
Emeritus Professor of Organic Chemistry
E-mail: d.black@unsw.edu.au


Born 1938. Research Associate at Columbia University 1963 - 1964. Appointed Lecturer at Monash University 1965, promoted to Senior Lecturer 1971, Reader 1975. Appointed to Chair of Organic Chemistry UNSW in 1983.


Synthetic organic chemistry including methods of synthesis, heterocyclic chemistry (especially indole chemistry), photochemistry. Organic aspects of coordination chemistry including ligand design and synthesis, macrocycles, organometallic chemistry. Natural products chemistry - constituents of Endiandra and Beilschmiedia species, indole alkaloids. Polymer chemistry - new polyamides, polyesters and modified peptides. Self-assembly studies involving hydrogen bonding.


Awarded RACI Rennie Medal 1970, H. G. Smith Medal 1993, Birch Medal 2003, and Leighton Medal 2004. Alexander von Humboldt Fellow, 1974 (Würzburg) and 1994 (Göttingen). Visiting Scholar, Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, 1980. Liversidge Lecturer of Royal Society of New South Wales, 1989. Royal Society of Chemistry Lecturer, 1990.

Visiting Professorships at Science University of Tokyo 1988, University of Auckland 1992, University of Innsbruck 1999, Kobe Pharmaceutical University 2000. President, RACI 1998. Secretary General IUPAC, 2004-2011. Secretary General International Council for Science (ICSU) 2011-2014. Elected Fellow of Australian Academy of Science (FAA), 2011. Awarded Officer of the Order of Australia (AO), 2012.


  • Formation of C-amido-calix[3]indoles from 2'- and 7'-indolylglyoxylamides, Tetrahedron, 56, 8513-8524 (2000).
  • Synthesis of pyrroloquinolines as indole analogs of flavonols, J. Org. Chem., 67, 2464-2473, (2002).
  • Synthesis of mixed heterocalixarenes from benzofuranyl methanols and activated indoles, Chem. Comm., 810-811 (2002).
  • Reaction of some 4,6-dimethoxyindoles with nitric acid: nitration and oxidative dimerisation, Tetrahedron, 61, 853-861 (2005).
  • Regioselective reactivity of some 5,7-dimethoxyindoles, Tetrahedron, 61, 4989-5004 (2005).
  • Synthesis of indolo[2,3-c]quinolines from 3-arylindole-2-ketoximes, Tetrahedron, 63, 6713-6719 (2007).
  • Effective synthetic routes to activated pyrrolo[3,2,1-hi]indoles, Tetrahedron, 64, 11603-11610 (2008).
  • Synthesis of antibacterial peptidomimetics derived from N-acylisatins, Tetrahedron Letters, 49, 2965-2968 (2008).
  • Synthesis of indolocyclotriveratrylenes, Tetrahedron, 65, 5977-5983 (2009).
  • Facile ring-opening of N-acylisatins for the development of novel peptidomimetics, Tetrahedron 67, 7603-7610 (2011).
  • Synthesis of cyclic tetraindolyls via oxidative coupling reactions, Tetrahedron Letters, 53, 3337-3341 (2012).