Recognizing our Heroes of Chemistry

The 2016 Heroes of Chemistry were celebrated at the ACS Fall National Meeting in Philadelphia with an awards dinner.  The Heroes of Chemistry Awards honor industrial scientists for their development of products that contribute to the welfare and progress of humanity.  

You can find out more about this year's winning teams and their products below.

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GlaxoSmithKline and Shionogi – TIVICAY® (dolutegravir) for the treatment of HIV-1

TIVICAY® (dolutegravir) is a prescription HIV medicine that is used with other antiretroviral medicines to treat Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection.  Integrase inhibitors, like TIVICAY, block HIV replication by preventing the viral DNA from integrating into the genetic material of human immune cells (T-cells).  Blocking this step blocks the HIV replication cycle and prevents chronic infection.

Awardees: Brian Johns (GSK) and Takashi Kawasuji (Shionogi)

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Honeywell – HFO-1234yf, a non-ozone-depleting and low-global-warming-potential hydrofluoro-olefin refrigerant for mobile air conditioning systems

The Honeywell team identified and developed a next-generation hydrofluoro-olefin (HFO) refrigerant for mobile air conditioning (MAC) systems.  This new hydrofluoro-olefin (HFO-1234yf) has a global warming potential (GWP) of less than 1 compared to the GWP of 1300 that is associated with R-134a, the most commonly used chlorofluorocarbon MAC refrigerant today.  Additionally, HFO-1234yf is a “near drop-in replacement” for R-134a, meaning it can be used in current air conditioning systems with little adaptation.  HFO-1234yf is now the leading non-ozone-depleting and low-global-warming-potential fluorocarbon used in mobile air conditioning applications.

Awardees: Nacer Achaichia, Amy Jones, Hang Pham, Robert Richard, Rajiv Singh, Harry Tung, Ron Vogl

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Honeywell UOP – Honeywell Green Jet Fuel™

Honeywell Green Jet Fuel™ is made from renewable sources – rather than petroleum – and meets or exceeds the most rigorous jet fuel standards for performance.  It is cleaner burning than conventional jet fuel and can be blended up to a 50/50 ratio with petroleum-based jet fuel.

Awardees: Chad Cavan, Ralph Davis, Donald Eizenga, Daniel Ellig, Stanley Frey, Tom Kalnes, Michael McCall, Hieu (Sunny) Nguyen, James Wexler, and Randall Williams

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Pfizer – IBRANCE® (palbociclib) for the treatment of metastatic breast cancer

IBRANCE® (palbociclib) is a first-in-class prescription medicine used in combination with other approved hormonal therapies to treat certain patients with hormone receptor-positive (HR+), human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-negative (HER2-) breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body (metastatic). 

The Pfizer team overcame significant scientific hurdles to discover an agent with suitable selectivity for cyclin dependent kinases (CDK) 4 and 6 relative to other cell cycle regulators that are important for maintaining normal human physiology.  Additionally, the demand for rapid advancement from mid-stage clinical trials to the market required significant innovation in process development and formulation.

IBRANCE® is currently being studied in head and neck cancer and in pancreatic cancer, as well as in high-risk early breast cancer.

Awardees: Mark Barvian, R. John Booth, Brian Chekal, Nga Do, Shengquan Duan, David Erdman, Nathan Ide, Kyle Leeman, Rong Li, Mark Maloney, Jade Nelson, John Quin, III, Joseph Repine, Derek Sheehan, Karen Sutherland, Peter Toogood, Scott VanderWel, Brian Weekley, Weili Yu, Hairong Zhou

What is the ACS Heroes of Chemistry Award?

Who are our heroes today? The media recognizes athletes and entertainers, as well as policemen and firefighters as heroes. At the American Chemical Society (ACS), we appreciate that chemical scientists are everyday heroes who impact our world in ways both great and small.

Since 1996, the ACS Heroes of Chemistry program has recognized chemical scientists whose work in various fields of chemistry and chemical engineering has led to the successful innovation and development of commercial products based on chemistry. The Heroes program also highlights the vital role of industrial chemical scientists and their companies in improving human welfare through successful commercial innovations and products. It presents an ideal opportunity to enhance the public image of the chemical and allied industries.

Each year, Heroes of Chemistry are nominated by their respective companies to recognize their talent, creativity, and innovation. Our previous Heroes have excelled in innovation at prominent international corporations, and have developed numerous commercial products that demonstrate strong financial performance. The commercial success of their products in the marketplace is an important criterion for this honor, because we recognize that good business results follow good science.

2017 Heroes of Chemistry Nominations

Nominations for the 2017 Heroes of Chemistry Awards have not yet opened.

For more information on the application process, please visit the Nominations Procedures page or email