Steven L. Buchwald of Massachusetts Institute of Technology will receive the 2006 Siegfried Medal for his achievements in process chemistry.
The prize consists of a gold medal, a bronze replica, and an honorarium of 10,000 Swiss francs (about $8,000); it will be presented at the Siegfried Symposium on Sept. 21 at the University of Zurich, Switzerland. The medal recognizes original research in chemical processes, carried out in academic and/or industrial laboratories, that influences the way process chemistry is conducted.
Buchwald's contributions have influenced process chemistry primarily in the synthesis of fine chemicals and active pharmaceutical ingredients, with specific achievements including design of commercially viable ligand systems to facilitate metal-mediated coupling reactions, elaboration of robust synthetic protocols applicable to target synthesis on scale, and evaluation of reaction mechanisms to minimize catalyst loadings leading to more environmentally safe chemical processes.
In the area of ligand design, Buchwald is well-known for the family of now commercially available biaryl phosphines, which he has used to demonstrate substrate/reactant generality in coupling reactions ranging from arylboronates and arylchlorides in the classic Suzuki-Miyaura reaction to ketones and nitroarylhalides in the synthesis of pharmaceutically important indoles.