Perkin Medal for Bruce Roth, inventor of Lipitor

17 July 2013

17 Jul 13

The SCI America Group will present the Perkin Medal to Bruce D Roth, the inventor of Lipitor®. Dr Roth, Vice President, Discovery Chemistry at Genentech, will receive the medal at a dinner in his honour on 17 September 2013, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Philadelphia.

'Bruce Roth is chemistry's ten billion dollar man,' said Andreas Kramvis, President and CEO of Performance Materials and Technologies, Honeywell International and SCI America chairperson. 'In 1985, when he was barely past his 31st birthday, Bruce synthesised atorvastatin and improved life for untold millions around the world. Since that great discovery in 1985, he has continued to lead and innovate throughout a long and productive career.'

About Bruce D Roth
Dr Roth began his academic career in 1972 in Philadelphia, attending St Joseph's College, earning a bachelor of science degree in chemistry in 1976. He then went to Iowa State University as a doctoral student under George Kraus. After receiving his PhD in organic chemistry from Iowa State University in 1981, and a year as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Rochester, he joined Parke-Davis of Warner-Lambert Company as a Medicinal Chemist in 1982. He was promoted to Senior Scientist in 1984 and served in several other leadership roles during the next decade and a half.

In 2000, Dr Roth was appointed Vice President of Chemistry just prior to the merger between Warner-Lambert and Pfizer. In 2007 he joined Genentech in San Francisco, California as Senior Director of Discovery Chemistry. He first synthesised atorvastatin in 1985. For that discovery, he received many prestigious awards including the 2003 American Chemical Society (ACS) Award for Creative Invention, the 2003 Esselen Award for Chemistry in the Public Service given by the North East Region Section of the ACS, the 2005 Iowa State University Distinguished Alumni Award, and the 2006 Pfizer Global Research and Development Achievement Award.

In 2008 he returned to Philadelphia where the ACS named him a Hero of Chemistry. In addition to his discovery of atorvastatin, Dr Roth is the inventor or co-inventor on 42 patents and the author or co-author of 48 manuscripts, 35 published abstracts and eight book chapters. He also served as an adjunct professor in the Department of Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Michigan.

He and his wife, Michelle, have four children: David, Sarah, Rebecca and Aaron.

About the Perkin Medal
The annual award is recognised as the highest honour given for outstanding work in applied chemistry in the United States. It commemorates the discovery of the first synthetic dye (the so-called Perkin mauve) by Sir William Henry Perkin in 1856 (more). This discovery was a significant step forward in organic chemistry that led to the birth of a major segment of the chemical industry. The Perkin Medal was first awarded to Sir William at a banquet held by the SCI in New York in 1906. Since then, more than 100 such awards have been given to notable scientists.

About SCI
SCI is an inclusive, multi-disciplinary forum connecting scientists and business people to advance the commercial application of chemistry and related sciences for public benefit. SCI is a unique international forum which anyone can join to share and exchange information, ideas, innovations and research. Members can access our growing network of member specialists from sectors as diverse as food and bio-renewables, water, waste and environment, energy, materials and manufacturing and health and well-being. The Society, in partnership with Wiley-Blackwell, publishes a portfolio of high quality scientific journals and books that attract contributions from scientists worldwide. Originally established in 1881, SCI is a registered charity with members in over 90 countries. For more information on our activities and publications, please visit our About us page.

SCI Press Contact:
SCI Marketing, T: +44 (0)20 7598 1500, F: +44 (0) 20 7598 1545, E:

About the SCI America Group
The America Group, launched in 1894, is part of SCI's international organisation. It provides a unique networking forum for chemical industry leaders, industrial scientists and technologists to exchange new business ideas and best practices. It celebrates achievement to promote public awareness of the contributions of industrial chemistry and inspire students to enter technical careers.

The group also offers its members the opportunity to become part of an international network of industry thought leaders and researchers. Through specialised conferences, e-events, and publications, it helps foster best practices in fields as diverse as fine and commodity chemicals, food, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, agriculture, and environmental protection. SCI America events are managed by the Chemical Heritage Foundation (CHF). The award dinner will be the final event of Innovation Day, a full day of research collaboration in the molecular sciences held at CHF on 17 September 2013.

About the Chemical Heritage Foundation
The Chemical Heritage Foundation is a collections-based non-profit organisation that preserves the history and heritage of chemistry, chemical engineering, and related sciences and technologies. The collections are used to create a body of original scholarship that illuminates chemistry's role in shaping society. In bridging science with the humanities, arts, and social sciences, CHF is committed to building a vibrant, international community of scholars; creating a rich source of traditional and emerging media; expanding the reach of our museum; and engaging the broader society through inventive public events.

CHF Press contact:
Neil Gussman, T: +717-314-2494, E:

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