Image of Professor Steve Buchwald

Stephen L. Buchwald wins Tetrahedron Prize for Creativity in Organic Chemistry

Categories: Awards, Faculty

This prestigious prize is awarded annually for creativity in organic chemistry or bioorganic and medicinal chemistry.

Elsevier and the Board of Executive Editors of Elsevier’s Tetrahedron journal series announce that the 2018 Tetrahedron Prize for Creativity in Organic Chemistry has been awarded to Professor Stephen L. Buchwald and Professor John Hartwig of U.C. Berkeley.

“I was very excited to learn that I would share the Tetrahedron Prize with John Hartwig”,  Buchwald said on hearing of his winning the prize. “Given the history of the award and that two of my mentors, Gilbert Stork and Bob Grubbs, are previous winners, made it even more special. Essentially all of the accomplishments for which I receive this award are due to the creativity, tenacity and hard work of my students and postdoctoral coworkers and I thank them from the bottom of my heart.”

Hartwig, who is the youngest person to receive the prize since Stuart Schreiber over two decades ago, commented, “It is an incredible honor to receive a prize previously awarded to such pillars of organic chemistry who have been role models and inspirations for our own work. It is a particular pleasure to receive this award with Steve Buchwald as a recognition of our combined work on new coupling reactions and as a recognition of how catalytic reactions, in general, have influenced organic synthesis over the past two decades.”

The awardees are credited with developing the Buchwald–Hartwig amination, a chemical reaction used for the synthesis of carbon-nitrogen bonds via the Palladium-catalyzed coupling reactions of amines with aryl halides, a process which has gained wide use in the industrial preparation of numerous pharmaceuticals.

About the Tetrahedron Prize for Creativity

The Tetrahedron Prize for Creativity in Organic Chemistry was established in 1980 by the Executive Board of Editors and the Publisher of Tetrahedron Publications. It is intended to honor the memory of the founding co-Chairmen of these publications, Professor Sir Robert Robinson and Professor Robert Burns Woodward.

The Tetrahedron Prize is awarded on an annual basis for creativity in Organic Chemistry or Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry. The prize consists of a gold medal, a certificate, and a monetary award of US $15,000. It is awarded to an Organic or Medicinal Chemist who has made significant original contributions to the field, in its broadest sense. The 2018 prize is awarded to an Organic Chemist.

The Tetrahedron prize will be presented during the 2019 Fall National Meeting of the American Chemical Society.

Research in the Buchwald Group combines elements of organic synthesis, physical organic chemistry and organometallic chemistry to devise catalytic processes of use in solving problems of fundamental importance.