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Ei-ichi Negishi

Born: 14-Jul-1935
Birthplace: Changchun, China

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: Asian
Occupation: Chemist

Nationality: Japan
Executive summary: Palladium-catalyzed cross couplings

Ei-ichi Negishi was born in Changchun, China while it was under Japanese rule, and studied at the Universities of Tokyo and Pennsylvania. He worked two stints of several years for the Teijin chemical conglomerate in Japan, before and after earning his doctorate, and then came to Purdue, where he worked alongside Herbert C. Brown, discoverer of organoboranes. Negishi researched the ways that a range of organometallic derivatives (aluminium, magnesium, zinc, and zirconium) are coupled in chemical reactions, and in 1977 he described Negishi couplings, a cross-coupling that uses organozinc derivatives to generate the palladium catalyst.

Advancing the work of Richard F. Heck, palladium-catalyzed cross coupling is now the standard method for linking carbon atoms together and forming a stable framework for organic molecules. The work of Heck and Negishi was later taken further by Japanese chemist Akira Suzuki, and Negishi, Heck, and Suzuki shared the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 2010. Practical applications of their research include the development of drugs to fight cancer and the manufacture of light-emitting diodes used to make untra-thin television and computer screens.

    University: BS Organic Chemistry, University of Tokyo (1958)
    University: PhD Organic Chemistry, University of Pennsylvania (1963)
    Scholar: Organoborane Chemistry, Purdue University (1966-68)
    Scholar: Ass't to Prof. Herbert C. Brown, Purdue University (1968-72)
    Teacher: Ass't Prof. of Organic Chemistry, Syracuse University (1972-76)
    Teacher: Assoc. Prof. of Organic Chemistry, Syracuse University (1976-79)
    Professor: Organic Chemistry, Purdue University (1979-99)
    Professor: Herbert C. Brown Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, Purdue University (1999-)

    Guggenheim Fellowship 1987
    Chemical Society of Japan Award 1996
    ACS Organometallic Chemistry Award 1998
    RSC Sir Edward Frankland Award 2000
    Yamada-Koga Prize 2007
    Nobel Prize for Chemistry 2010 (with Richard F. Heck and Akira Suzuki)
    Teijin Ltd. Polymer Chemist (1958-60, 1963-66)
    American Association for the Advancement of Science
    American Chemical Society 1979
    Chemical Society of Japan
    Organometallics Editorial Board, 1999-2001
    Phi Lambda Epsilon
    Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society
    Japanese Ancestry

Author of books:
Organometallics in Organic Synthesis (1979, chemistry)
Handbook of Organopalladium Chemistry for Organic Synthesis (2002, chemistry; two vol.)

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