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ACS Award For Affordable Green Chemistry: Martin Johnson, Joseph Martinelli, and Shannon Stahl

by Linda Wang
January 4, 2016 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 94, ISSUE 1

Sponsor: Dow Chemical Company

Citation: For chemistry and engineering advances that enable commercial application of safe and scalable aerobic oxidation reactions in the development and manufacture of pharmaceuticals.

What their colleagues say: “I can confidently assert that the contributions of Johnson, Martinelli, and Stahl to the development of safe and scalable aerobic oxidations will have an indelible impact on pharmaceutical process chemistry that will pay both economic and environmental dividends in future years.”—Bret E. Huff, Eli Lilly & Co.

Martin Johnson

Current position: research adviser, Small Molecule Design & Development, Eli Lilly & Co.

Education: B.S., chemical engineering, Virginia Tech University; dual Ph.D., chemical and environmental engineering, University of Michigan

Johnson on his scientific role model:“Galileo fearlessly held to his strongly opposed scientific reasoning to the point of house arrest. Under house arrest, he did some of his best scientific work and documentation. Resistance and opposition makes us more productive if we respond positively.”

Joseph Martinelli

Current position: senior research scientist, Small Molecule Design & Development, Eli Lilly & Co.

Education: B.S., chemical engineering, University of Wisconsin, Madison; Ph.D., chemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Martinelli on his inspiration: “Things like exploring a new reaction that’s never worked before, defining the formation of a trace impurity arising from an obscure side reaction, or reading ASAP articles and seeing the latest innovation from today’s leading scientists all get me thinking about what new approaches we can take to do things better and/or faster.”

Shannon Stahl

Current position: John & Dorothy Vozza Research Professor, University of Wisconsin, Madison

Education: B.S., chemistry, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; Ph.D., chemistry, California Institute of Technology

Stahl on his inspiration: “I often experience something special when writing a manuscript or grant proposal. I don’t know that I can explain it, but it seems to come from projecting myself into the role of a critical reviewer. Subconsciously, I find myself trying to justify the significance and meaning of what we have done or want to do, and this process seems to generate new insights or fresh ways of looking at the problem. Many of our ‘eureka’ moments in the lab have come this way. It’s especially fun when it happens with my students.”



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