Early- and Mid-Career Investigator Award Nominations-Due Feb. 6

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The Organic Division (DOC) recognizes early-career and mid-career scientists through two related programs: 1) The Early Career Investigator Award, which recognizes independent and non-academic investigators (e.g. industry, government or non-profit laboratory) who are no more than 10 years from graduate school or post-doctoral appointment. These individuals have demonstrated outstanding promise for future contributions to Organic …

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Early Career Investigator Award - Past Awardees

The Division of Organic Chemistry’s Early Career Investigator (ECI) Award program recognizes scientists who are no more than 10 years from graduate school or post-doctoral appointment and are a current researcher in a non-academic setting (e.g. industry, government or non-profit laboratory) who have demonstrated outstanding promise for future contributions to Organic Chemistry. This program was initiated in 2007 and was called the Young Industrialists Symposium award program until 2021 when the program was expanded to also recognize mid-career scientists in the Mid-Career Investigator (MCI) program. Below you will find the awardees and their talk titles from the various ECI symposia.

2023 Awardees

  • Nicholas Babij, Corteva Agriscience.
  • Gregg Barcan, GSK.
  • Souvagya Biswas, Dow Chemical.
  • Artiom Cernijenko, Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research.
  • Michael Clift, AbbVie.
  • John Curto, Pfizer.
  • Abdellatif El Marrouni, Merck.
  • Gary Gallego, Pfizer.
  • Melissa Grenier-Davies, GSK.
  • Valer Jeso, GSK.
  • Brian Laforteza, Janssen.
  • Stephen Lathrop, AbbVie.
  • Toma Levin, Biogen.
  • Emma McInturff, Pfizer.
  • Manish Mishra, PPG Industries.
  • Leslie Ofori, Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research.
  • Yam Poudel, BMS.
  • Kyle Quasdorf, Amgen.
  • Hong Ren, Merck.
  • Thomas Scattolin, Mirati Therapeutics.
  • Paige Stout, Janssen.
  • Shuwen Sun, Merck.
  • Jack Terrett, Genentech.
  • Ngoc Duc Tran, Janssen.
  • Miao Yu, BMS.
  • Ping Zhang, Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research.
  • Susan Zultanski, Merck.

2022 Awardees

  • Simone Bonazzi, Novartis. “Discovery and characterization of a first-in-class selective IKZF2 glue degrader for immuno-oncology applications”
  • Yining Ji Chen, Merck. “Insight from mechanistic studies informs better processes”
  • Emily Cherney, BMS. “Exploring pathways in immuno-oncology: Discovery of IDO1 inhibitors and STING agonists”
  • Andrew DeAngelis, FMC. “Novel heterocyclic amides for the control of plant parasitic nematodes”
  • Maryll Geherty, BMS. “Innovative approaches in process chemistry: The synthesis and multikilogram manufacture of complex pharmaceutical agents”
  • Kaid Harper, AbbVie. “Photochemistry and Electrochemistry at Commercial Scale”
  • Martin Himmelbauer, Biogen. “Design and optimization of potent, selective and brain penetrant apoptosis signal-regulating kinase 1 (ASK1) inhibitors”
  • Allen Hong, Genetech. “Stereocontrolled Synthesis of Arylomycin-Based Gram-Negative Antibiotic GDC-5338”
  • Terry Lebold, Janssen. “Discovery of selective and brain penetrant Casein Kinase 1 (CK1) Delta inhibitors for the treatment of circadian rhythm disorders”
  • Hasnain Malik, Novartis. “Identification and Optimization of Novel Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator Correctors”
  • Connor Martin, Janssen. “Discovery of Pyrazolecarboxamide RORγt Inverse Agonists at Janssen”
  • Eric Phillips, . “Process Research and Development at Merck: Collaborative and Cohesive Work Across Multiple Phases and Modalities”
  • John Roberts, Merck. “Towards a New Direct Process: Synthesis of Methylmethoxysilanes from Dimethyl Carbonate and Pentacopper Silicide”
  • Janelle Sauvageau, Dow. “My glyco-chemistry journey within the National Research Council of Canada”
  • Daniel Schmitt, Pfizer. “Parallel Synthesis of α-Branched Amines”
  • Austin Smith, Loxo – Lilly. “Development and manufacture of oncology drug candidates with high molecule complexity”
  • David Thaisrivongs, Merck. “Synthetic macrocyclic peptides that target protein-protein interactions: the discovery and early chemistry development of a PCSK9 inhibitor”
  • Carolyn Wei, Amgen. “Leveraging High-Throughput Experimentation to Enable a Differentiated Pipeline”

2021 Awardees

  • Omar Ahmad, Blueprint. “Development of next generation calicheamicin ADCs”
  • Christophe Allais, Pfizer. “Process development and optimization to manufacture an active pharmaceutical ingredient”
  • Matthew Beaver, Amgen. “Role of continuous manufacturing to advance Amgen’s synthetic portfolio”
  • Raphaelle Berger, Merck. “Discovery of MK-6158 an oral, once daily, soluble guanylate cyclase (sGC) stimulator for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension”
  • Alexander Buitrago-Santanilla, GSK. “Development of a Nanoscale Chemistry Direct-to-Biology (D2B) Platform”
  • Anne-Marie Dechert Schmitt, Pfizer. “Use of synthetic organic chemistry to impact medicinal chemistry project delivery”
  • Amelie Dion, Merck/Pfizer. “An outsider path to process chemistry”
  • Anna Dunn, GSK. “Rapid kinetics workflow: Incorporating high-throughput experimentation, machine learning, graphical analysis, and fit-for-purpose modeling into accessible tools for accelerated drug development”
  • Candice Joe, BMS. “Development of a Negishi cross coupling process”
  • Anais Jolit, AbbVie. “Switching on the blue light in the pharmaceutical industry: Implementation of a global platform for metallophotoredox chemistry at AbbVie”
  • Leo Joyce, Arrowhead. “Enabling organic synthesis through the development and application of novel analytical methods”
  • Carolyn Leverett, Pfizer. “Design and synthesis of novel tubulysin payloads and site-specific antibody drug conjugates overcoming in-vivo acetate liability”
  • Xiaoli Liao, AbbVie. “Selective reduction of proteins for site-specific antibody-drug conjugation”
  • Brian Loy, Corteva Agriscience. “Unique picolinamides for fungal disease control”
  • Yu Lu, Lilly. “Decarboxylative borylation approach for the synthesis of chiral cyclopropane”
  • Feng Peng, Merck. “Accelerating drug discovery and development through Innovation in green chemistry”
  • Vivek Rauniyar, Novartis. “Drugging ERK and RAF nodes of MAP kinase pathway.”
  • Chris Regens, Gilead. “Toward a cure for chronic hepatitis B: The development of Selgantolimod (GS-9688)”
  • Troy Reynolds, AbbVie. “Process development of an RORγt inverse agonist”
  • Trevor Sherwood, BMS. “Optimization of indole-based antagonists of toll-like receptors 7 and 8 (TLR7/8) through C-2 variations”
  • Steven Silverman, Merck. “Invention of an ideal synthesis of molnupiravir enabled by protein engineering”
  • Lauren Sirois, Genentech. “Next-generation process chemistry: Striving for better, faster, smarter development of stereoselective cross-coupling reactions toward pharmaceutical targets”
  • Craig Stivala, Genentech. “Discovery of a chiral amphiphilic iridium catalyst for carbon-heteroatom bond formation: Reactions of amines, anilines, indoles, and other various nucleophiles”
  • Shun Su, BMS. “Biphenyl acid and aryl hydroxypyrimidinone derivatives as APJ receptor agonists”
  • Benjamin Taft, Novartis. “Discovery of clinical candidate INE963: A potent and fast-acting blood-stage antimalarial with a high barrier to resistance and potential for single-dose cure in uncomplicated malaria”
  • Dan Treitler, BMS. “Design and development of the commercial process to Deucravacitinib”
  • Tom Willumstad, Dow. “Investigating a silane modified polymer (SMP) based coating formulation”

2020 Awardees

  • Matthew Belowich, Dow. “Lewis Acids as Highly Active Silanol Polycondensation Catalysts Affording Low Levels of Cyclosiloxanes”
  • Tamas Benkovics, Merck. “Innovation for the Synthesis of Diverse Nucleosides”
  • Nick Desrosiers, Pfizer. “Development of Difluoromethylation Methodologies for Large-Scale Processes”
  • Anna Fryszkowska, Merck. “Biocatalysis in the pharmaceutical industry – chemistry for tomorrow’s earth.”
  • Chong Han, Genentech. “Chemoselective, Stereocontrolled Cu-Catalyzed C-N Couplings Towards a Highly Potent mPI3Ka Inhibitor GDC-0077”
  • Sebastien Monfette, Pfizer. “Nickel catalysis: Novel ligands and reactions of practical importance to the pharmaceutical industry”
  • Ryan Moslin, BMS. “Inhibition of TYK2 via the Pseudokinase: The Discovery of Deucravacitinib”
  • Jaclyn Murphy, DuPont. “Development of new materials for electronic applications”
  • Zack Oblak Oblak, GSK. “The design and development of a manufacturing process for GSK’772”
  • Martins Oderinde, BMS. “Photocatalytic [2+2] Cycloaddition for Building Cyclobutane-Fused Three-Dimensional Molecular Complexity”
  • Andrew Parsons, Amgen. “Development of a commercial manufacturing process for an atropisomeric KRAS G12C inhibitor”
  • Ryan Patman, Pfizer. “Design and Synthesis of Carbonucleoside Inhibitors of PRMT5 for the Treatment of Cancer: A Desymmetrization Approach”
  • David Pearson, Dow. “Carbon-carbon centered radical initiators for polymerization of unsaturated monomers.”
  • Christopher Plummer, Merck. “Identification and Optimization of Positive Allosteric GPR40 Agonists for Diabetes”
  • Danica Rankic, Pfizer. “Strategies toward robust and scalable syntheses of α-pyrazolyl pyrrolidines”
  • Mari Rosen, Dow. “Chromium Catalysts with Phospholane Ligands for Ethylene Tetramerization”
  • Janelle Steves, GSK. “HTE in 3D: Implication of phosphine featurization methods on HTE design and analysis of reaction outcomes”
  • Aimee Usera, Novartis. “Ride of a lifetime: a novel half-life extension technology succeeding across chemical space”
  • Jason Zbieg, Genentech. “Discovery of a Chiral Amphiphilic Iridium Catalyst for Carbon- Heteroatom Bond Formation: Reactions of Amines, Anilines, Indoles and Other Various Nucleophiles.”

2019 Awardees

  • Brad Bailey, Dow. “Polyolefin catalysts for the production of ethylene-based fluids”
  • Bryan Barton, Dow Dupont E&I. “Shifting the oxidation pathways of polyethylene to provide carbonaceous species in high yield”
  • Amanda Dombrowski, Abbvie. “High-throughput reaction screening enabled by small scale solid dispensing”
  • Shuzhi Dong, Merck. “Discovery of MK-8153: ROMK inhibitor as new mechanism diuretic for hypertension and heart failure”
  • Stephen Greszler, Abbvie. “Impacting the pipeline through discovery synthesis groups: Cystic fibrosis, HCV, and immunology”
  • Michael Harris, NovoNordisk. “Development of PMC friendly approaches to the construction of synthetically challenging cyclopropane motifs”
  • Josh Kaitz, Dupont. “Rational design of organic materials for advanced microlithography”
  • Jonrock Kong, Merck. “Design and development of catalytic processes for the synthesis of antiviral agents EFdA (MK-8591) and vaniprevir (MK-7009)”
  • Chad Lewis, Pfizer. “Asymmetric atropisoinduction”
  • David Marcoux, BMS. “Rationally designed, conformationally constrained inverse agonists of ROR?t: Identification of a potent, selective series with biologic-like in vivo efficacy”
  • Tricia May-Dracka, Biogen. “Investigation of small molecule inhibitors of PLD for the treatment of ALS”
  • Meredith McGowan, Merck. “Discovery and evolution of potent and selective heme-displacing IDO1 inhibitors”
  • Jordan Meier, NCI. “New insights into acetylation & oncometabolism from chemoproteomics”
  • Theo Michels, eFfector. “Synthesis of bioactive flavagline analogues as inhibitors of cap-dependent translation: Discovery of eFT226”
  • Erik Regalado, Merck. “Universal chromatographic methods and fit for purpose workflows in the research and development of new pharmaceuticals”
  • Benjamin Sherry, Merck. “Process development in the pharmaceutical industry”
  • Iulia Strambeau, GSK. “Convergent synthesis of the NS5B inhibitor GSK8175 enabled by transition metal catalysis”
  • Jenna Terebetski. “Want to improve your (bio)performance? Take a closer look at the physical properties”
  • Rubben Torella, Pfizer. “Designing for bias: Computational methods to drive rational design of G-protein biased agonists”
  • Joseph Tucker, Pfizer. “High-throughput experimentation in flow: From screening to compound production”
  • Steven Wisniewski, Bristol-Myers Squibb. “Robust catalytic transformations: Value of mechanistic studies in process chemistry”
  • Robert Wright, Dow. “Organic molecules as forensic fuel markers”
  • Ian Young, Genentech. “Application of under-utilized transformations to the synthesis of pharmaceutically relevant molecules”

2018 Awardees

  • Karla Bravo-Altamirano, Corteva Agriscience. “Synthesis and bioactivity of carbohydrate-based macrocyclic picolinamide fungicides.”
  • Alison Brewer, Pfizer. “Design, development and scale-up of a homogeneous Chan-Lam coupling”
  • Matthew Campbell, Merck. “Herbicidal 2-aryl-1,2,3-triazoles”
  • Benoit Cardinal-David, Abbvie. “Flow chemistry: Impact on early process development”
  • Chiol Chung, Genentech. “Expedient synthesis of chiral tryptamines via a regioselective indole alkylation”
  • Jamie McCabe Dunn, Merck. “Vignettes in process chemistry spanning enabling discovery chemistry to manufacturing route development”
  • Marie Gabrielle-Braun, Genentech. “Discovery of GDC-0077: A highly selective inhibitor of PI3K-alpha that induces degradation of mutant-p110 alpha protein”
  • Tom Greshock, Merck. “Innovative chemistry enabling drug discovery: Leveraging new frontiers in organic synthesis to improve success rate”
  • David Laitar, Dow. “Boron- and copper-based TADF emitters: Synthesis, photochemical characterization and OLED device performance”
  • Ricardo Lira, Pfizer. “Preparation and optimization of macrocyclic peptide-like inhibitors for intravenous applications”
  • Sheng Liu, Dow. “Design and synthesis of high carbon content polymers via catalytic oxidative cross-coupling reactions for application in advanced manufacture”
  • Michael Luzung, Bristol–Myers Squibb. “Discovering innovative and impactful chemistry through external collaborations”
  • Steven M. Mennen, Amgen. “Integration of discovery and process development to deliver a high complexity BACE inhibitor”
  • Joseph Pero, GlaxoSmithKline. “Discovery of a novel class of TRPV4 antagonists and optimization with respect to LLE, oral PK properties and off-target activity”
  • Angela Puchlopek-Dermenci, Pfizer. “Commercial route development of a SMO inhibitor”
  • Aaron Smith, Pfizer. “Speed to clinic: The critical role of organic synthesis in medicinal chemistry.”

2017 Awardees

  • Scott Bader, Pfizer. “Synthesis of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs): Difficulties in the synthesis of the parts can be greater than that of the whole”
  • Douglas Behenna, Pfizer. “Discovery and early enablement of PF-06747775: A next generation irreversible inhibitor of mutant EGFR for the treatment of NSCLC.”
  • Aaron Burns, Dart Neuroscience. “Aldehyde Oxidase Metabolism in Drug Discovery”
  • Vincent Chan, AbbVie. “Development of a robust process for Venetoclax”
  • Michael Demartino, GlaxoSmithKline. “Next generation RET kinase inhibitor: Improved physicochemical and PK properties enhance local GI tissue distribution”
  • Kevin Hesp, Pfizer. “Synthesis of Photoreactive Chemical Probes through Late-Stage Heterocyclic C-H Functionalization of Unmodified Biologically Active Molecules”
  • Xin Linghu, Genentech. “Development of a practical synthesis of small molecule intermediate for THIOMAB-antibiotic conjugates (TACs) “
  • Zhijian Liu, Merck. “Asymmetric Hydrogen Bonding Catalysis for the Synthesis of Dihydroquinazoline-containing Antiviral, Letermovir”
  • Ana Minatti, Amgen. “Fueling the Alzheimer’s BACE1 Race with Genetic Insights and Cyclopropyloxazine BACE1 Inhibitors”
  • Christian Nilewski, eFFECTOR Therapies. “Design and synthesis of novel natural product-inspired eIF4A inhibitors”
  • Thomas Pillow, Genentech. “New Chemistries for Antibody-Drug Conjugates”
  • Izzat Raheem, Merck. “Discovery of 2-pyridinone aminals: A prodrug strategy to advance a second generation of HIV-1 integrase strand transfer inhibitors”
  • Matthew Schiffler, Lilly. “mPGES-1 Inhibitors from start to clinic”
  • Eric Simmons, Bristol–Myers Squibb. “Discovery, Development and Mechanistic Study of Catalytic Transformations for the Multi-Kilogram Scale Synthesis of Pharmaceutical Intermediates”
  • Emile Velthuisen, GlaxoSmithKline. “Design of Highly Potent Allosteric Integrase Inhibitors”
  • Abbas Walji, Merck. “New opportunities for synthetic chemistry to enable drug discovery: Discovery of [18F]MK-6240 a novel PET imaging agent for tau pathology”

2016 Awardees

  • Robert Aversa, Novartis. “ATR inhibitors for cancer: SBDD and mitigation of TDI “
  • Haiming Zhang, Genentech. “Practical processes to selective estrogen receptor degrader GDC-0810 “
  • Michael Schmidt, Bristol-Myers Squibb. “Case studies in process research: Small molecules with big challenges “
  • Hua Xu, Pfizer. “Applications of sulfonyl fluorides in drug discovery and chemical biology”
  • Erin P. Keaney, Novartis. “Disruption of autophagy in vivo via selective Vps34 inhibitors “
  • Eric C. Hansen, Pfizer. “Mining pharmaceutical libraries for new ligands in nickel catalysis “
  • Philip Fontaine, Dow Chemical. “Discovery and development of molecular polyolefin catalysts “
  • Hilary S. Eidam, GlaxoSmithKline. “RET inhibitors for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome “
  • Christopher am Ende, Pfizer. “Design and application of photoaffinity probes to investigate the mechanism of action of ?-secretase inhibitors and modulators”
  • Joseph R. Martinelli, Eli Lilly. “Evolution of a platform for aerobic processes”
  • Malliga R. Iyer, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). “Synthetic approaches toward the design of multi-target compounds for the treatment of metabolic disorders and fibrosis “
  • Anna V. Davis, Dow Chemical. “Advances in the direct control of polyethylene oxide molecular weight”
  • Mirlinda Biba, Merck. “Chromatographic analysis and separation of short RNA oligonucleotides with novel liquid chromatography methods “
  • Dennie S. Welch, AbbVie. “Development of a practical asymmetric synthesis of a TRPV1 antagonist “
  • Arjun Raghuraman, Dow Chemical. “Sequential DMC/FAB-catalyzed alkoxylation towards high primary hydroxyl, high equivalent weight polyether polyols “
  • Jackie Milne, Amgen. “Development of a robust process for a cMet inhibitor”

2015 Awardees

  • Gregg Keaney, H3 Biomedicine. “Total synthesis of 6-deoxypladienolide D and assessment of splicing inhibitory activity in a mutant SF3B1 cancer cell line”
  • Roy Helmy, Merck. “Development and implementation of innovative high-throughput screening and analysis solutions to support discovery and development of active pharmaceutical ingredients in the pharmaceutical industry”
  • Patricia Brieva, L’Oreal. “Organic acid applications within the cosmeceutical industry “chemical peels””
  • Reema Thalji, GlaxoSmithKline. “Structure-guided design and optimization of fluoroquinolone-substituted bacterial type IIA DNA topoisomerase inhibitors”
  • Paul LaBeaume, Dow Chemical. “Application of synthetic organic chemistry in the design of cationic initiators for next generation photoresists”
  • Kevin Cole, Eli Lilly. “Continuous processing: Chemical route development and GMP implementation”
  • Timothy Briggs, Ensemble Therapeutics. “DNA-programmed chemistry toward macrocycle libraries for drug discovery”
  • Andrew Vetter, Eastman Chemical. “Cobalt catalyzed reductive carbonylation of methanol”
  • Andrew Hejl, Dow Chemical. “Designed hybridization – acrylic-epoxy hybrid dispersions for industrial coating applications”
  • Nathan Ide, Pfizer. “Development of a commercial manufacturing process for Ibrance® (palbociclib)”
  • Jeffrey Kallemeyn, AbbVie. “Approaches to the heterocyclic core of Ilorasertib”
  • Andrew Satterfield, DuPont. “Carbonyl containing heterocycles as aromatic isosteres in 4-hydroxyphenylpyruvate dioxygenase (HPPD) herbicides”
  • Antonella Converso, Merck. “Discovery of adenosine analog inhibitors of S-adenosylhomocysteine hydrolase”
  • Ke Chen, Bristol-Myers-Squibb. “Overcoming steric and electronic obstacles: Development of efficient syntheses of active pharmaceutical ingredients”
  • Martin Schnermann, National Cancer Institute. “Near-IR uncaging chemistry: Discovery and applications”
  • Sheng Cui, Amgen. “Chiral chemistry for API synthesis”

2014 Awardees

  • Nicole Knight, Dow Chemical. “Multidisciplinary problem solving in industrial research”
  • Anthony A Estrada, Genentech. “Access to potent, selective, efficacious, and highly functionalized pyrimidoaminotropane mTOR inhibitors through the development of a flexible pyrimidine methodology”
  • Christoph W Zapf, Pfizer. “Lessons learned from targeting interleukin-2 inducible T cell kinase (ITK) by a covalent approach”
  • Kelly M George, L’Oreal. “Development of new skin care cleansing formulations using design of experiment and fast formulation tools”
  • Beth M. Cooper, Dow Chemical. “Latex-pigment interactions in paint to reduce environmental impact and improve performance”
  • Rebecca T Ruck, Merck. “MK-7655: Surprising synthetic complexity for seemingly straightforward steps”
  • Adrian Ortiz, Bristol-Myers-Squibb. “Discovery of an innovative stereoselective synthesis of BMS-986001: A nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NRTI) for the treatment of HIV infection”
  • Sébastien Lemaire, Janssen Pharmaceutica. “Stereoselective C-glycosylation reactions with arylzinc reagents”
  • Shashank Shekhar, AbbVie. “Discovery of novel catalytic technologies in the process development of HCV polymerase inhibitors”
  • Jared L. Piper, Eli Lilly. “Process development and synthetic approaches for a CB1 inverse agonist”

2013 Awardees

  • Santhosh F Neelamkavil, Merck. “Discovery of bridged bicyclic piperidines as GPR119 agonists for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes”
  • Kurt Hirsekorn, Dow Chemical. “Selective methane activation and chlorocarbon development for climate friendly refrigerants via free radical chemistries”
  • John S. Schneekloth, National Cancer Institute. “Chemical probes of protein sumoylation: Strategies and tactics”
  • David L. Gray, Pfizer. “Medicinal chemistry at the blood-brain interface: Challenge and opportunity”
  • Shawn D. Walker, Amgen. “Development of new methods for the asymmetric synthesis of small molecule drug candidates”
  • Allyn T. Londregan, Pfizer. “Synthetic enablement for drug discovery: A new method for the addition of nucleophiles to pyridine-N-oxides”
  • Owendi Ongayi, Dow Electronic Materials. “Development of materials for semiconductor device fabrication”
  • Rami Hannoush, Genentech. “Peptides tools for targeting the zymogen form of a caspase”
  • Artis Klapars, Merck. “Asymmetric synthesis of complex drug targets”

2012 Awardees

  • Michael T. Rudd, Merck. “Discovery of vaniprevir (MK-7009) and MK-5172: Macrocyclic HCV NS3/4a protease inhibitors”
  • Stephen M. Lynch, Hoffmann-La Roche. “Design and synthesis of novel monoamine triple reuptake inhibitors”
  • Jason S. Tedrow, Amgen. “Route selection toward AMG 222: A direct tetrazole addition strategy toward building molecular complexity”
  • Ming Xu, DuPont Crop Protection. “Synthesis and crop protection utility of novel fused heterobicyclic isoxazolines”
  • Ed Cleator, Merck. “Discovery of an asymmetric synthesis of suvorexant”
  • Lori Krim Gavrin, Pfizer. “Adventures in medicinal chemistry: Drug design and probe design”

2011 Awardees

  • Vincent Mascitti, Pfizer. “Discovery of clinical candidate PF-04971729: An anti-diabetic agent from the structurally unique dioxa-bicyclo[3.2.1]octane class of SGLT2 inhibitors”
  • Lisa A. Marcaurelle, Broad Institute. “Diversity-oriented synthesis: From macrocyclesto spirocycles and beyond”
  • Brian C. Shook, Johnson & Johnson. “Indenopyrimidines as dual adenosine A2A/A1 antagonists for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease”
  • Xing Dai, Merck. “Example of drug discovery program leading to the development of novel reactions”
  • Aaron T. Wright, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. “Identification of proteins relevant to bioenergy and disease pathology by chemical proteome profiling”
  • Spencer D. Dreher, Merck. “Collaboration and communication in chemistry”
  • Ted W. Johnson, Pfizer. “HIV integrase and the Golden Triangle: Overcoming synthetic challenges to compounds occupying unique chemical space”
  • Martin D. Eastgate, Bristol-Myers Squibb. “On the palladium catalyzed oxidation of cyclic dienes”

2010 Awardees

  • Vassil I. Elitzin, GlaxoSmithKline. “Efficient and practical synthesis of GSK812397, an HIV drug candidate”
  • Qinhua Huang, Pfizer. “Synthesis and evaluation of NO donor containing carbonic anhydrase inhibitors”
  • Andrew W. Fraley, Ensemble Discovery. “DNA-programmed chemistry approaches to macrocyclic lead compounds”
  • Catherine A Faler, ExxonMobil Chemical Company. “Synthesis of pyridyl amine ligands for catalyzed ethylene oligomerization”
  • Robert D. Mazzola, Jr., Merck/Ligand Pharmaceuticals. “Design and synthesis of novel ß-secretase (BACE) inhibitors”
  • Hannah Yu, Eli Lilly. “Development of an efficient palladium-catalyzed intramolecular carbometalation reaction for the synthesis of a dibenzoxapine-containing tetrasubstituted exocyclic alkene”
  • Fa Liu, National Cancer Institute. “Peptide mimetics disrupting protein-protein interactions discovered by post-solid phase modifications”
  • Francis Gosselin, Merck. “Asymmetric hydrogenation of unprotected N-H ketoimines”
  • Nidhi Gupta, Biodesign Institute, Arizona State University. “Synthetic ligands (synbodies): Syntheticalternatives to antibodies”
  • Matthew M. Bio, Amgen. “Practial arene metallation chemistry”

2009 Awardees

  • Craig J. Thomas, National Institutes of Health. “Bioactive small molecule discovery at the NIH chemical genomics center”
  • David Tellers, Merck. “Application of automation to synthetic organic challenges Shawn M. Dirk, Sandia National Laboratories
    Development of novel polymeric capacitor dielectric materials”
  • Xianhai Huang, Schering-Plough Research Institute. “Total synthesis and SAR development of potent antitumor natural product psymberin/irciniastatin A”
  • Andrew E. Taggi, DuPont Crop Protection. “Chemistry at the interface of agriculture and medicine: Pyrazinones as tubulin modulators”
  • Dafydd R. Owen, Pfizer. “Enabling the hit to lead process at Pfizer: The value of organic synthesis”
  • M. Uljana Mayer, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. “New probes for proteomics: Synthesis and application to problems in health and bioenergy”
  • Karin M. Balss, Cordis Corporation. “Investigation of chemical spatial distribution of drug and polymer in drug-eluting stent coatings”
  • Stefan G. Koenig, Sepracor. “Lessons learned: Development of a catalytic asymmetric hydrogenation process”
  • Daniel H. Appella, National Institutes of Health. “Molecular designs for peptide nucleic acids in detection and multivalent platforms”
  • Eric Assen B. Kantchev, Forma Therapeutics Singapore. “Rational exploration and exploitation of palladacycle diversity: Design and development of the SingaCycle family of NHC-palladacycle cross-coupling catalysts”
  • Oliver Thiel, Amgen. “Synthesis and process development of an advanced drug candidate”
  • Jeffrey C. Gildersleeve, National Cancer Institute. “Multidimensional carbohydrate microarrays for cancer research”

2008 Awardees

  • Yue-Mei Zhang, Johnson & Johnson. “Regioselective Pd-catalyzed coupling of halopyrimidines and synthesis of functionalized pyrimidoindole heterocycles”
  • Shane W. Krska, Merck. “Harnessing the power of high-throughput experimentation for catalytic reaction development at Merck”
  • Percy H. Carter, Bristol-Myers Squibb. “Discovery of potent, selective, and orally bioavailable antagonists of CC Chemokine Receptor 2”
  • Florence Mehlmann, Arkema. “Developments of new polymer architectures by controlled radical polymerization”
  • Zhao-Kui Wan, Wyeth Research. “Serendipitous synthetic discoveries: A tale of phosphonium and oxybenzotriazole chemistry”
  • Daniel Steiger, General Electric Global Research. “Rational design of surfaces with nanometer-sized domains for improved blood compatibility”
  • Kanth V. B. Josyula, Aldrich Chemical Company. “Enabling boron-based reagents in chemical synthesis: A story of advancing science through new product development at Aldrich”
  • Brian A. Johns, GlaxoSmithKline. “Novel synthetic methods to facilitate the pursuit of antiviral drugs”
  • Erik J. Hembre, Eli Lilly. “Discovery of the NK-1 antagonist LY686017”

2007 Awardees

  • J. Kent Barbay, Johnson & Johnson. “Synthesis and evaluation of small molecule C5a receptor antagonists”
  • Kevin R. Campos, Merck. “Enantioselective arylation of N-Boc pyrrolidine”
  • Robert M. Borzilleri, Bristol-Myers Squibb. “From cytotoxic agents to targeted therapies: A new era in oncology research”
  • Robert A. Singer, Pfizer. “Development of nonproprietary catalysts for the palladium-catalyzed amination reaction”
  • Edmund I. Graziani, Wyeth Research. “Synthesis and chemical biology of ILS-920: A novel non-immunosuppressive rapamycin analog with efficacy in multiple animal models of ischemic stroke

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Early Career Investigator Award


The purpose of the Early Career Investigator (ECI) Award program recognizes scientists who are no more than 10 years from graduate school or post-doctoral appointment and are a current researcher in a non-academic setting (e.g. industry, government or non-profit laboratory) who have demonstrated outstanding promise for future contributions to Organic Chemistry.


This award program to recognize early career organic chemists working in non-academic settings was started in 2007. In 2021, the executive committee recognized the need to recognize mid-career organic chemists working in non-academic settings. Therefore, in 2021, the program was split into the ECI and Mid-Career Investigator (MCI) programs.

Selection of Awardees

Awardees are selected by the Early Career Investigator Awards Committee from a pool of candidates nominated by their respective employers and are approved by the Executive Committee of the Division of Organic Chemistry. Nominations are accepted through the online Early Career Investigator Award Nomination Form. The nomination package will be used by the awards committee to select Early Career Awardees and must include the following materials:

  1. A letter containing the address of the nominee, and information written on company letterhead that presents evidence that illustrates the scientist’s promise, creativity, and productivity. The letter should be a maximum of three pages and should detail the impact of the candidate with examples from their work on the portfolio with relevant schemes/publications/patents, including what opportunities and deliverables they have had as an individual contributor/step lead/project lead/etc. Any additional information that documents unique, non-project related achievements made by the nominee may also be included. We recommend focusing on 3-4 selected signature accomplishments that clearly demonstrate the scientist’s creativity and productivity. The letter should also articulate what sets this candidate apart from other EC candidates in terms of their impact to science, culture, and the chemistry community, capturing their promise in their respective department and the field of organic chemistry.
  2. The nominee’s CV (including work address and email) that includes a description of their educational background and experience, and publication and patent record.
  3. Second letters will be considered but are not necessary. The main letter can be jointly submitted by more than one nominator.
  4. We recognize that publication practices vary by company and as such, consider all nomination packages in their entirety. If publications are not available, we ask that the nomination letter provide details of specific examples of scientific accomplishments, team leadership and outreach. Copies of selected publications and patents are not necessary.
  5. We recognize that company size varies significantly and encourage multiple nominations when suitable candidates can be identified. However, due to the size of the selection committee, we are unable to review more than four (4) nominees from any given company.

Associated events

There are two events associated with the Early Career Investigator Award. There is a dinner for the awardees, typically on Sunday evening of the ACS Fall National Meeting in combination with the TAOC and Mid-Career Investigator Awardees. There is a symposium (half or full day depending on the number of awardees), typically on Sunday or Monday of the ACS Fall National Meeting.

Awardee Responsibilities

Awardees present a 30 minute scientific talk at the Fall ACS meeting that contains a substantial amount of the scientist’s own work (time period is flexible depending on number of awardees) at the ACS National Fall Meeting. As an awards symposium, under ACS bylaws there is no question and answer period.


We encourage nominators to select candidates who are both excellent scientists and good communicators. To nominate a candidate for the Early Career Investigator Award you would need to complete the online nomination form-due February 6, 2024. Nominators must be members or affiliates of the ACS Organic Division. The form requires a letter describing the nominee’s contributions and the nominee’s curriculum vitae. Additional letters and supporting documents are most welcome, but not essential. Nominees no more than 10 years from graduate school or post-doctoral appointment and are a current researcher in a non-academic setting (e.g. industry, government or non-profit laboratory). Nominations from women and minorities who are typically under-represented in chemistry are especially encouraged.
Questions may be directed to Drs. Steven Wisniewski and Steve Silverman.

Submission process

Nominations are to be submitted as a single PDF file (named using the format of the Nominee’s information: Last_Name_First_Name_ECI.pdf i.e. Smith_Jane_MCI.pdf) through this online form ECI Nomination Form.

Your PDF file should have the following parts in the following order:

  1. Nomination Letter on Company Letterhead
  2. Nominee’s CV
  3. Supplementary Information (optional)

Award history

The Early-Career Investigator Award commenced in 2007. All past and present awardees with their affiliations are listed on the Early Career Investigator’s (ECI) Award History Page by their awarded year.