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Organic Chemist wins industry-sponsored prize for Process Chemistry

Posted on 12 April 2017

Professor Peter O’Brien has been awarded the 2017 AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer & Syngenta prize for Process Chemistry Research.

Professor Peter OBrien was presented his award by Alan Robinson of Syngenta

Professor Peter O’Brien has been recognised for his creativity and published achievement in the area of lithiation-trapping of saturated nitrogen heterocycles, including his more recent work on the use of in situ React IR spectroscopy for monitoring the lithiation step. Professor O’Brien’s numerous contributions have focused on the development of broadly useful methodology and have featured a number of fundamental and mechanistic insights.

Each year, a panel of process chemists from AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer & Syngenta select a UK-based academic who has developed chemistry that has the potential to be of relevance to large scale manufacturing in the agrochemical and/or pharmaceutical sector. In general, many of the chemical reactions and novel reagents that are invented in university chemistry laboratories are unsuitable for use at large scale; the reagents may be too expensive or dangerous, or the reaction may not work when it is scaled up. This award recognises the development of new chemical reactions that solve problems in process chemistry.

The award was presented by Alan Robinson of Syngenta at the 34th SCI Process Development Symposium in Cambridge held between on 29th- 31st March 2017, where Professor O’Brien also gave a plenary prize-winning lecture.  

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For more information about the 34th SCI Process Development Symposium, visit