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PUBLIC RELEASE DATE:
8-Sep-2013

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Contact: Michael Bernstein
m_bernstein@acs.org
317-262-5907 (Indianapolis Press Center, Sept. 6-11)
202-872-6042

Michael Woods
m_woods@acs.org
317-262-5907 (Indianapolis Press Center, Sept. 6-11)
202-872-6293

American Chemical Society

New 'Heroes of Chemistry' developed products that improve health and protect food supply

INDIANAPOLIS, Sept. 8, 2012 -- Scientists who developed medicines and crop protection products that improve life for millions of people around the world will be inducted into a scientific "Hall of Fame" today, becoming the newest Heroes of Chemistry, an honor bestowed by the American Chemical Society (ACS), the world's largest scientific society.

Heroes of Chemistry recognizes scientists whose innovative work in chemistry and chemical engineering led to the development of commercial products that benefit humankind.

The ceremony, part of the ACS' 246th National Meeting & Exposition, which began today and continues through Thursday, will honor scientific teams that developed:

"The Heroes of Chemistry program highlights the vital role of chemists who work in pharmaceutical companies and other industry settings to improve human welfare by inventing and introducing new products and other innovations," said Marinda Li Wu, Ph.D., ACS president. "All too often, the people behind the products remain anonymous and invisible to the public that benefits so much. This is a wonderful opportunity to publically recognize those scientists and their companies for innovation, creativity and dedication that improves everyday life. The 2013 Heroes have my heart-felt congratulations, thanks and appreciation."

Scientists from DuPont were honored for developing the insecticide DuPont Rynaxypyr® (chlorantraniliprole). They are John H. Freudenberger, Ph.D.; Thomas P. Selby, Ph.D.; Daniel Cordova; George P. Lahm, Ph.D.; and Thomas M. Stevenson, Ph.D. Rynaxypyr® has one of the lowest toxicity profiles of all insect-control products, including products derived from natural sources, yet is one of the most potent and selective insect-control products ever discovered.

Scientists from Merck & Co., Inc., became new Heroes for developing Isentress® (raltegravir), a potent integrase inhibitor for the treatment of HIV-1 infection in patients as part of combination HIV therapy. They are David Askin, Ph.D.; Peter Maligres, Ph.D.; Joseph Vacca, Ph.D.; Guy Humphrey, Ph.D.; Michael Rowley, Ph.D.; John Wai, Ph.D.; Ralph Laufer, Ph.D.; Enzo Summa, Ph.D.; and Steven Young, Ph.D.

Scientists from Pfizer won the honor for developing Xalkori® (crizotinib), a drug that fights a genetic defect causing some lung cancers. They are Jingrong Cui, Ph.D.; Michelle Tran-Dubé; Pei-Pei Kung, Ph.D.; Mason Pairish; and Hong Shen.

Scientists from Vertex, a global biotechnology company, won the honor for developing KALYDECO (ivacaftor), a medicine for people with cystic fibrosis (CF) who have a specific mutation in their CF gene called the G551D mutation. They are Vijayalaksmi Arumugam, Ph.D.; Brian Bear, Ph.D.; Peter D. J. Grootenhuis, Ph.D.; Jason McCartney; Jinglan Zhou, Ph.D.; Anna Hazlewood; Sabine Hadida, Ph.D.; Adam Looker, Ph.D.; Bobbianna Neubert-Langille, Ph.D.; David Willcox, Ph.D.; Michael Ryan; and Zhifeng Ye, Ph.D.

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A press conference on this topic will be held Sunday, Sept. 8, at 2 p.m. in the ACS Press Center, Room 211, in the Indiana Convention Center. Reporters can attend in person or access live audio and video of the event and ask questions at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/acslive.

The American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. With more than 163,000 members, ACS is the world's largest scientific society and a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.

To automatically receive news releases from the American Chemical Society, contact newsroom@acs.org.

Note to journalists: Please report that this research was presented at a meeting of the American Chemical Society.

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