Lauri Vares was born in 1973 in Tallinn, Estonia. He received a diploma (roughly equivalent to M.Sc.) in 1996 at Tallinn University of Technology, licentiate in 1998 at The Royal Institute of Technology (Stockholm), and Ph.D. at The University of Tartu in 2000. After a post doc stay at The University of Notre Dame (USA) with prof. B.D. Smith, he worked for AstraZeneca in Södertälje (Sweden) in 2002-2005 as a senior research fellow. In 2006 he was appointed as senior researcher in Organic Chemistry at The Institute of Technology.