Bruce Roth, Inventor of Lipitor®, to Receive 2013 SCI Perkin Medal

Discoverer of most successful drug in the history of the pharmaceutical industry will be honored at the final event of Innovation Day 2013in Philadelphia.

The Society of Chemical Industry, America International Group, announced today that the 2013 SCI Perkin Medal will be presented to Bruce D. Roth, vice president, Discovery Chemistry at Genentech.  He will receive the medal at a dinner in his honor on September 17, 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 synthesized atorvastatin and improved life for untold millions around the world.  Since that great discovery in 1985, he continues to lead and innovate throughout a long and productive career.”

About Bruce D. Roth

Bruce D. Roth began his academic career in Philadelphia, attending St. Joseph’s College beginning in 1972 and earning a bachelor of science degree in chemistry in 1976.  Then he went to Iowa State University as a doctoral student under George Kraus. After receiving his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Iowa State University in 1981, he spent a year as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Rochester, then 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, 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.

Roth first synthesized atorvastatin in 1985. For the discovery, he received many prestigious awards including the 1997 Warner-Lambert Chairman's Distinguished Scientific Achievement Award, the 1999 Inventor of the Year Award from the New York Intellectual Property Law Association, the 2005 Iowa State University Distinguished Alumni Award, and the 2006 Pfizer Global Research and Development Achievement Award.

In 2008 Roth returned to Philadelphia for the American Chemical Society (ACS) where he was named a Hero of Chemistry.

In addition to his discovery of atorvastatin, Roth is the inventor or co-inventor of 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 SCI Perkin Medal

The annual award is recognized as the highest honor 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. This discovery was a significant step forward in organic chemistry that led to the birth of a major segment of the chemical industry. The SCI 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 the Society of Chemical Industry

SCI America International Group, launched in 1894, is part of the Society of Chemical Industry’s international organization. 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.

SCI America Section also offers its members the opportunity to become part of an international network of industry thought leaders and researchers. Through specialized 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 September 17.

The Chemical Heritage Foundation is a collections-based nonprofit organization 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.