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Peter J. Dunn Award for Green Chemistry & Engineering Impact in the Pharmaceutical Industry

  • Description

    The Peter J. Dunn Award was established in 2016 by the ACS GCI Pharmaceutical Roundtable (ACS GCIPR) to recognize excellence in the research, development and execution of green chemistry that demonstrates compelling environmental, safety and efficiency improvements over current technologies in the pharmaceutical industry and its allied industrial partners. The inaugural award was given to Peter J. Dunn of Pfizer, and subsequently named in his honor.

    The award recognizes greener and more sustainable synthetic routes and their associated processes to Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) or intermediates, reaction conditions, and chemical or manufacturing process technologies.

    The submission should highlight the green and sustainable chemistry accomplishments at meaningful scale and must detail their significance (e.g., reduction in process mass intensity, waste reduction, robustness, environmental, health and safety impact reduction or elimination, reduction in the use of toxic and/or hazardous chemicals, solvents, reagents, etc.). The innovations should be significant and ones that go beyond routine process development optimization. 

    The 2021 award will be presented at the Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference. The recipients will be invited to share his or her technology in an oral presentation at this event. The recipient’s* transportation, lodging and registration fees for the conference are reimbursable up to $2,500 USD (following ACS guidelines).

    * If a team wins the award, they will select one person to be reimbursed for travel to the conference to present their technology.

  • Eligibility

    New accomplishments relative to the design principles of green chemistry at meaningful scale are eligible for this award. Nominations must detail the significance (i.e., in yield, waste reduction, robustness, environmental impact, reduction of toxic and/or hazardous chemicals, etc.) of the chemistry or engineering.

    The Peter J. Dunn Award recognizes the accomplishments of individuals—whether they be individual contributions or as part of team efforts. Therefore, the ACS GCIPR strongly encourages individuals to apply. However, please note that this is not a career achievement award, rather the focus is on a specific innovative technology developed by the nominee. Nominations may also include teams of up to ten people.

    The goal is to recognize both pioneering industrial scientists, as well as the best of green chemistry innovations, to inspire all pharmaceutical scientists (or allied industrial partners) to ever greater sustainability.

    Note: Previous winning submissions from the EPA Green Chemistry Challenge Award are not eligible.  

  • Application

    The deadline for submitting applications is 5 p.m. (EDT), Thursday, December 31, 2020. Please send your application in a single PDF file to with “Peter J. Dunn Award Application – [applicant’s last name]” in the subject line. The application will be in consideration for three consecutive years once submitted.

    A panel of industrial peers will evaluate the applications.

    Chemistry enhances lives across the globe and green chemistry is the path to enhanced sustainability. The ACS GCIPR looks forward to receiving your submission to be considered as the best at pharmaceutical green chemistry development.

  • Establishment & Support

    The Peter J. Dunn Award was established in 2016 by the ACS GCI Pharmaceutical Roundtable (ACS GCIPR) in honor of Peter J. Dunn of Pfizer. Dunn has been recognized for his leadership of the Pfizer Green Chemistry Program and his accomplishments in the greener total synthesis of sildenafil citrate.

  • Past Recipients


    Dan Bailey, Takeda Pharmaceuticals

    “Beyond Organic Solvents: Synthesis of a 5-HT4 receptor agonist in water.”


    B. Frank Gupton, Floyd D. Gottwald Jr. Chair in Pharmaceutical Engineering at Virginia Commonwealth University

    “Increasing Access to Global Health Care through Process Intensification.”


    Bruce Lipshutz, professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and Sachin Handa, assistant professor of chemistry at the University of Louisville.

    “Development of Newly Engineered Catalysts for Sustainable Surfactant Chemistry in Water.”


    Peter J. Dunn, Global Head of Green Chemistry, Pfizer

  • Contact

    Questions about the Peter J. Dunn Award should be directed to the ACS Green Chemistry Institute®: Email (preferred) or, telephone +1 (202) 872-6102.