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
July 25, 2022

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 chemical scientists whose work has led to the development of successful commercialized products ingrained with chemistry for the benefit of 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,” says ACS president Angela K. Wilson.

The team from 3M is being recognized for its development of RelyX Unicem and Universal Dental Cements. 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 ranges. These precise, on-demand, molecularly-tailored, enhanced polyethylenes have applications ranging from flexible food packaging to heavy-duty industrial shipping sacks. The Eli Lilly and Company team developed Verzenio (abemaciclib), a selective CDK4 and CDK6 inhibitor that is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treating advanced and metastatic, as well as 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 and Co chemical scientists developed the antiviral Lagevrio (molnupiravir) that was FDA granted emergency-use authorization against COVID-19 in Dec. 2021. The Moderna chemical scientists developed the Spikevax mRNA COVID-19 vaccine that was first used in the US in Dec. 2020. The Pfizer chemical scientists developed the antiviral Paxlovid that was granted FDA emergency use authorization 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.