Joseph M. Fox is Professor of Chemistry in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, where he also is the Director of the NIH-funded Center of Biomedical Research Excellence on Molecular Discovery.

A native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Fox received his bachelor’s degree from Princeton University, where he conducted undergraduate research as a Pfizer fellow with Maitland Jones Jr. He completed graduate studies under Thomas Katz at Columbia University, where he developed a combined interest in materials science and the synthesis of challenging targets. He studied organometallic chemistry with Stephen Buchwald at MIT as an NIH postdoctoral fellow, where he worked on Pd-catalyzed ketone arylation and devised a synthesis of phosphine ligands that is now used commercially.

In 2001, Fox joined the faculty at UD, and he has built a multidisciplinary program that centers on the development of new types of chemical reactions. His group has developed new syntheses and transformations of chiral cyclopropenes and trans-cycloalkenes, and a new type of bioorthogonal reaction that allows for extremely rapid conjugation to biological macromolecules. Applications of this work include synthesis of naturally occurring and designed molecules with biological function, and in the use of design concepts in organic synthesis for applications in biology, radiochemistry, imaging, therapy and materials science.

contact info: 302-831-0191,

JMF CV (updated 6/21/21): JosephFoxCV_6:21:2021.pdf

Selected Professional Experiences and Honors

2022, Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award, American Chemical Society

2022, Plenary Lecturer, 28th International Society of Heterocyclic Chemistry Congress

2020, Invited Keynote Lecturer, European Union Horizon 2020 Center, Copenhagen, Denmark

2017, Delaware Bioscience Association Award for Academic Research

2016, Bristol-Myers Squibb Lecturer in Organic Chemistry, MIT

2014, American Chemical Society Delaware Section Award

2014, Chair, Gordon Research Conference, Organic Reactions and Processs

2014, Section Editor: Current Opinion in Chemical Biology, 2014 issue on “In Vivo Chemistry”

2013, Keynote speaker, New York Academy of Science, Symposium on Bioorthogonal

           Chemistry in Biology and Medicine

2013, University of Delaware Outstanding Graduate Advising and Mentoring Award.

2013, Vice-chair, Gordon Research Conference, Organic Reactions and Processs

2011, Chair, Frontiers in Catalysis—a Symposium honoring Nobel Prize winner Richard F. Heck

2009-   Member, Internal Advisory Committee of Chemistry-Biomaterials COBRE at UD

2009-14, Member, Steering Committee of Chemistry-Biology Interface Program at UD

2009- Scientific Advisory Board Member, MBMR Biolabs, New York, NY

2007, Thieme Journal Award: from the editorial board of Synthesis and Synlett

2006-11, NSF CAREER Award, Division of Chemistry

2006-8, Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation, Special Program Grant Awardee

2006, ACS Division of Organic Chemistry Young Investigator

2006, Eli Lilly Lecturer, Northwestern University

2005, Plenary Lecturer, State of Missouri Chemistry symposium, University of Missouri 

The Fox Group             Designing New Reactions for Chemical Biology

New Reactions for Biology


Synthetic Methods