The Society of Chemical Industry (SCI) has selected Bruce D. Roth, vice president of discovery chemistry at Genentech, as the winner of the 2013 Perkin Medal. The annual award is recognized as the highest honor given for outstanding work in applied chemistry in the U.S.
Roth is best known for being the first to synthesize the blockbuster cholesterol-lowering drug atorvastatin, which goes by the brand name Lipitor (C&EN, Oct. 31, 2011, page 36). The drug has become the world’s fastest-growing and top-selling pharmaceutical since its launch in 1997.
In addition to his discovery of atorvastatin, Roth is the inventor or coinventor on 42 patents and the author or coauthor of 48 manuscripts, 35 published abstracts, and eight book chapters. His research at Genentech focuses on small-molecule drug discovery for treating cancer and other life-threatening diseases. Prior to joining Genentech, he was vice president of chemistry at Pfizer.
Roth will receive the medal and present an address at a Sept. 17 dinner in Philadelphia, after Innovation Day events at the Chemical Heritage Foundation. The medal, one of the chemical industry’s most prestigious awards, is named for Sir William Henry Perkin, who developed the first synthetic dye—called Perkin mauve—in 1856.