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The impact of Nobel Prize in Chemistry on fine chemicals

IAN C. LENNON
Member of chimica oggi/Chemistry Today’s Scientific advisory board

As this is the “2011: International Year of Chemistry” it isopportune to reflect on the impact that the Nobel Prize inChemistry has had on the pharmaceutical and contractmanufacturing industries. Between 1901 and 2010 the NobelPrize in Chemistry has been awarded 102 times to 160 NobelLaureates for achievements in a diverse range of chemistry,from polymers to biological chemistry, structural and surfaceChemistry, to quantum mechanics. This editorial will focus onthose Nobel Prizes that have had the biggest impact in themanufacture of pharmaceuticals and fine chemicals. By the startof the 20th Century chemical manufacturing was well establishedin Europe and many new reactions and techniques were beingdeveloped. The 1902 Nobel Prize in Chemistry awarded to EmilFischer for his work on purine and sugar synthesis was highlysignificant. Fischer has >8 reactions named after him, includingthe Fischer Indole synthesis and the Fischer reduction. The 1912prize was shared between Victor Grignard and Paul Sabatier.We can all appreciate the impact of the Grignard reactionto enable the synthesis of alcohols and forming new carboncarbonbonds, but Sabatier’s work on developing m ...



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