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Mieczysław Mąkosza is known for important contributions to organic chemistry, particularly organic synthesis. He was one of the pioneers of a new general methodology of organic synthesis known as Phase-Transfer Catalysis that has found wide applications in research laboratories and industrial processes. His other important contribution to organic chemistry was the formulation of a general concept concerning reactions of nucleophiles with electron-deficient arenes. On this basis a new reaction vicarous nucleophilic substitution of hydrogen and a few other related processes were elaborated. These new reactions became versatile tools of organic synthesis and changed the common opinion concerning the reactivity of arenes. His scientific activity was connected with the Department of Chemistry, Warsaw Technical University, and subsequently with the Institute of Organic Chemistry, Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw, where he had served as the director for 25 years.
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