If you have an ACS member number, please enter it here so we can link this account to your membership. (optional)

ACS values your privacy. By submitting your information, you are gaining access to C&EN and subscribing to our weekly newsletter. We use the information you provide to make your reading experience better, and we will never sell your data to third party members.



ACS names its 2022 Heroes of Chemistry

Chemists are recognized for their contributions to sustainable packaging, dental cements, breast cancer treatments, and formulations that protect against or treat COVID-19

by Nina Notman, special to C&EN
August 14, 2022 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 100, Issue 28


Two workers wear protctive suits and gloves at Moderna's clinical manufacturing site.
Credit: Moderna
Workers at Moderna's clinical manufacturing site in Norwood, Massachusetts

Teams from 3M, Dow, Eli Lilly and Company, Merck & Co., Moderna, and Pfizer have won the 2022 Heroes of Chemistry Award, the American Chemical Society’s highest honor for industrial chemical scientists.

Launched in 1996, the annual Heroes of Chemistry Award recognizes industrial advances that have benefited humankind.

“I’m honored to recognize 3M, Dow, Lilly, Merck, Moderna and Pfizer for making the world a better place in a variety of capacities through innovative chemistry,” ACS president Angela K. Wilson says in an ACS press release.

The team from 3M is being recognized for its development of RelyX Unicem and Universal Dental Cement. These high-performance easy-to-use, self-adhesive resin cements have simplified dental-surgery workflows and cause virtually no postoperative sensitivities. The team from Dow developed the Elite and Innate sustainable packaging brands of packaging. These precise, on-demand, molecularly-tailored, enhanced polyethylenes have applications that include flexible food packaging to heavy-duty industrial shipping sacks. The Lilly team developed Verzenio (abemaciclib), a selective CDK4 and CDK6 inhibitor that is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for treating advanced, metastatic, and high-risk early breast cancers.

The remaining three teams are being honored for their work developing formulations that protect against or treat COVID-19. The Merck chemical scientists developed the antiviral Lagevrio (molnupiravir), which was granted emergency use authorization by the FDA against COVID-19 in Dec. 2021. The Moderna chemical scientists developed the Spikevax mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, which was first used in the US in Dec. 2020. The Pfizer chemical scientists developed the antiviral Paxlovid which was granted emergency use authorization by the FDA against COVID-19 in Dec. 2021.



This article has been sent to the following recipient:

Chemistry matters. Join us to get the news you need.