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Hoosier Wins Nobel Prize

For a second straight year, a Hoosier has won a Nobel Prize.

negishi-nobel

Photo: Purdue University photo/Andrew Hancock

Purdue President France A. Córdova, at left, talks Wednesday (Oct. 6) with Purdue University professor Ei-ichi Negishi, Nobel Laureate in chemistry, at his home in West Lafayette, Ind. Negishi is the Herbert C. Brown Distinguished Professor of Chemistry.

For a second straight year, a Hoosier has won a Nobel Prize. This year’s laureate for the Nobel Chemistry Prize is Purdue Chemistry Professor Eiichi Negishi along with former University of Delaware professor Richard Heck and Akira Suzuki of Japan’s Hokkaido University, who independently discovered in the 60’s and 70’s ways to use Palladium to link carbon molecules into more complex structures. Negishi used zinc compound to accelerate the process pioneered by Heck.

Negishi is the second Purdue Professor to win the Nobel. He refers to the first one, 1979 chemistry Nobel Prize winner Herbert Brown, as his master and “only real mentor.”

He says Brown advised him in 2002, two years prior to his death, that he planned to nominate him for the award that has been his 50 year long dream, so even though it obviously comes as a surprise, Negishi says it was not a complete surprise.

Negishi also thanks Fulbright, for allowing him to come to the United States classifying it as “sheer generosity provided at the highest levels”.

The Nobel committee says the Negishi coupling reaction and the related discoveries of Heck and Suzuki are used today to make a quarter of all medicines.

Last year, Indiana University professor Elinor Ostrom won the Nobel in Economics.

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