SCI Perkin Medal

Bruce Roth

Bruce Roth

2013 Medalist: Bruce Roth

The Chemical Heritage Foundation and SCI are pleased to award the 2013 Perkin Medal to Bruce Roth, vice president of discovery chemistry at Genentech.

Bruce D. Roth began his academic career in Philadelphia, attending St. Joseph’s College beginning in 1972 and earning a bachelor of science degree in chemistry in 1976. Then he went to Iowa State University as a doctoral student under George Kraus. After receiving his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Iowa State University in 1981, he spent a year as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Rochester, then joined Parke-Davis of Warner-Lambert Company as a medicinal chemist in 1982. He was promoted to senior scientist in 1984 and served in several other leadership roles during the next decade and a half.

In 2000 Roth was appointed vice president of chemistry just before the merger between Warner-Lambert and Pfizer. In 2007 he joined Genentech in San Francisco as senior director of discovery chemistry.

Roth first synthesized atorvastatin in 1985. For the discovery he received many prestigious awards, including the 1997 Warner-Lambert Chairman’s Distinguished Scientific Achievement Award, the 1999 Inventor of the Year Award from the New York Intellectual Property Law Association, the 2005 Iowa State University Distinguished Alumni Award, and the 2006 Pfizer Global Research and Development Achievement Award.

In 2008 Roth returned to Philadelphia, where the American Chemical Society (ACS) named him a Hero of Chemistry.

In addition to synthesizing atorvastatin, Roth is named as inventor or coinventor on 42 patents, and he is the author or coauthor of 48 manuscripts, 35 published abstracts, and 8 book chapters. He also served as an adjunct professor in the Department of Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Michigan.

About the SCI Perkin Medal

The SCI Perkin Medal is recognized as one of the highest honors given for outstanding work in applied chemistry in the United States. It commemorates the discovery of the first synthetic dye (the so-called Perkin mauve) by Sir William Henry Perkin in 1856. This discovery was a significant step forward in organic chemistry that led to the birth of a major segment of the chemical industry. The Perkin Medal was first awarded to Sir William at a banquet held by the SCI in New York in 1906. Since then, more than 90 such awards have been given to notable scientists.

About the Society of Chemical Industry (SCI)

SCI, the society where science meets business on independent, impartial ground is a unique international forum that anyone can join, where they can share and exchange information, ideas, new innovations, and research, and access SCI’s growing database of member specialists between sectors as diverse as food and agriculture, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, environmental science, and safety. Originally established in 1881, SCI is a registered charity with members in over 90 countries. For more information on SCI activities and publications, click here.

About the Chemical Heritage Foundation

The Chemical Heritage Foundation is a collections-based nonprofit organization that preserves the history and heritage of chemistry, chemical engineering, and related sciences and technologies. The collections are used to create a body of original scholarship that illuminates chemistry’s role in shaping society. In bridging science with the humanities, arts, and social sciences, CHF is committed to building a vibrant, international community of scholars; creating a rich source of traditional and emerging media; expanding the reach of our museum; and engaging the broader society through inventive public events.

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