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ACS names its 2020 Heroes of Chemistry

by Linda Wang
May 15, 2020 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 98, Issue 19


Photo of a technician at DuPont loading a chemical-mechanical planarization pad into a polishing tool.
Credit: DuPont
A DuPont technician loads a chemical-mechanical planarization pad into a polishing tool.

Four teams of industrial chemical scientists from AST Products, DuPont, and Janssen have won the 2020 Heroes of Chemistry Award, which is the American Chemical Society’s highest honor for industrial chemical scientists.

Started in 1996, the Heroes of Chemistry program recognizes industrial chemical scientists whose innovative work has led to the development of chemistry-based, commercially successful products that have benefited humankind.

“The 2020 Heroes of Chemistry exemplify the spirit of innovation and creativity that is crucial to developing solutions that improve the lives of people worldwide,” says ACS president Luis Echegoyen. “The advances from AST Products, DuPont and Janssen benefit both patients and consumers, and again highlight the importance of the chemical sciences in all areas of industry.”

The team from AST Products is being honored for its development of LubriMATRIX, a surface treatment technology that protects the intraocular lens from damage during cataract surgery. One team from DuPont developed FilmTec, a reverse osmosis technology that has led to cleaner drinking water and other purification techniques. The other team from DuPont developed chemical-mechanical planarization pads that have contributed to advancements in semiconductor fabrication. Finally, the team from Janssen developed Sirturo (bedaquiline) for the treatment of drug-resistant tuberculosis. The drug was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 2012.


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