CSA Helped Launch Career of a 2010 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry
Congratulations to the latest 2010 winners of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. It goes jointly to Americans Richard F. Heck, Ei-ichi Negishi and Akira Suzuki, of Japan, for their groundbreaking work in palladium-catalyzed cross couplings in organic synthesis.
Research Corporation for Science Advancement, which has supported the work of early career researchers throughout its 99-year history, funded Negishi in the 1970s, when he was beginning his career. This latest award brings to 40 the total of early career scientists supported by RCSA who have gone on to earn Nobels.
"This latest award to a member of the RCSA community emphasizes once again the incalculable benefits that come from supporting early career science faculty at our nation's colleges and universities," said James M. Gentile, RCSA president and CEO. "We must do an even better job of supporting these people in coming decades if science is to help solve some of the big challenges the world faces."
In making the award, the Royal Swedish Academy observed, "The discoveries by the three organic chemists have had a great impact on academic research, the development of new drugs and materials, and are used in many industrial chemical processes for the synthesis of pharmaceuticals and other biologically active compounds."
The New York Times quotes Lars Thelander, chairman of the Nobel chemistry prize committee, as saying roughly 25 percent of all medicines synthesized today are created through the palladium process pioneered by the three new laureates.
Heck is a professor at the University of Delaware; Negishi is based at Purdue University; and Suzuki works at Hokkaido University.
Research Corporation for Science Advancement, America's second-oldest private foundation, and the first devoted wholly to science, was founded in 1912. Through its conferences, grants and advocacy, RCSA supports early career faculty; innovative ideas that lead to transformative research; the integration of research and undergraduate science education; interdisciplinary and collaborative approaches to research; and building academic cultures that embrace all of these critical factors in 21st-century American science.