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ACS names 2017 Heroes of Chemistry

Awardees have made advancements in human health, technology, the food supply, and the environment

by Linda Wang
May 10, 2017

Credit: Dow Chemical
Dow Chemical tests architectural paint formulations at an exposure station in Spring House, Pa.

Teams of industrial chemical scientists from six companies, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Corning, Dow Chemical, DuPont Crop Protection, Genentech, and Merck, are being honored with the American Chemical Society’s Heroes of Chemistry awards.

Started in 1996, the Heroes program recognizes industrial chemical scientists whose innovative work has led to the development of commercially successful products ingrained with chemistry for the benefit of humankind.

“Their creative spirit, commitment to excellence, and technical talent are tangible evidence of the ACS Vision, ‘Improving people’s lives through the transforming power of chemistry,’” says ACS President Allison Campbell.

The Bristol-Myers Squibb team is being honored for its development of direct acting antiviral agents, Daklinza (daclatasvir) and Sunvepra (asunaprevir), which have produced hepatitis C cure rates of greater than 95%. The team consists of Makonen Belema, Min Gao, Andrew Good, Lawrence Hamann, Fiona McPhee, Nicholas Meanwell, Van Nguyen, Paul Scola, Lawrence Snyder, Li-Qiang Sun, and Alan Wang.

The Corning team of Dana Bookbinder, Ming-Jun Li, Pushkar Tandon invented ClearCurve optical fibers to overcome the hurdle of bendability in optical fiber technology.

The team from Dow Chemical developed Avanse acrylic resins and Evoque pre-composite polymers to help make architectural paints greener and more economical. The awardees are Linda Adamson, James Bardman, Kebede Beshah, Marie Bleuzen, James Bohling, Ward Brown, Brownell, Michael Clark, Stan Beth Cooper, Steven Edwards, David Fasano. Catherine Finegan, John Hook, Melinda Keefe, Alvin Maurice, Ozzie Pressley, William Rohrbach, and Wei Zhang.

The DuPont Crop Protection team discovered DuPont Zorvec, the first member of a novel class of fungicides to control diseases caused by oomycete pathogens. The team consists of John Andreassi, Mary Ann Hanagan, Lisa Hoffman, Robert Pasteris, and James Sweigard.

The team from Genentech discovered and developed Erivedge (vismodegib), the first medicine to be approved for the treatment of metastatic or locally advanced basal cell carcinoma. The honorees are Remy Angelaud, Georgette Castanedo, Janet Gunzner, Mike Koehler, Jim Marsters, Kirk Robarge, Scott Savage, Dan Sutherlin, Vickie Tsui, and Shumei Wang.

And the team from Merck developed Zepatier (elbasvir and grazoprevir), a prescription medicine to treat chronic hepatitis C infection in adults. The team members are Craig Coburn, Steven Harper, Daria Hazuda, Kate Holloway, Bin Hu, Nigel Liverton, John McCauley, Craig McKelvey, Mark McLaughlin, Peter Meinke, Michael Rudd, Vincenzo Summa, Feng Xu, Ping Zhaung, and Bin Zhong.

The company teams will be honored during an awards gala at the fall ACS national meeting in Washington, D.C., in August.



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Martin Vogel (May 14, 2017 5:31 PM)
I was the inventor of the technology, 25 years ago, on which Dow's Evoque is based and without my brainstorm, the product would not exist. My invention was never patented and is buried in one of my laboratory notebooks which includes reduction to practice. The people who knew about my role are long retired and current employees apparently do not know about it. A number of people contributed to the development of Evoque and deserve recognition but I would have liked to have been included with them on your list of Dow Heroes of Chemistry.
Gottfried Brieger (May 17, 2017 11:23 AM)
Readers might wish to know that Bristol-Meyer Squibb fired the team that developed the antiviral agents which provided a 94% cure rate for Hepatitis C. As in the case of Martin Vogel, cited above, there are individuals who made the major contributions to the discovery. Corporations clearly have not changed their invidious practices regarding credit for important discoveries.

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