University News | April 07, 2022
On March 12th the Inaugural Akira Suzuki Awards Ceremony was streamed from the Akira Suzuki Hall in the Frontier Research for Applied Sciences building on the Hokkaido University campus.
The Akira Suzuki Awards were established in 2021 in commemoration of Professor Akira Suzuki being awarded the 2010 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, and to celebrate his 90th birthday. They consist of two awards, the Akira Suzuki award for outstanding contributions to chemical reaction design in the field of experimental chemistry, and the ICReDD Award for outstanding contributions to chemical reaction design in the fields of computational/theoretical chemistry or information science.
After a brief explanation of the awards, the Akira Suzuki Awards Organizing Committee chair Professor Masaya Sawamura of ICReDD presented the Inaugural Akira Suzuki Award to Stephen L. Buchwald, Camille Dreyfus Professor of Chemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
Upon receiving the award, Professor Buchwald talked about his respect and esteem for Professor Suzuki.
“This is a tremendous honor. Professor Suzuki is, of course, one of the greatest chemists of all time, one of my great heroes” said Professor Buchwald.
Professor Buchwald went on to mention the prevalence of the Suzuki coupling reaction in the pharmaceutical industry and acknowledged the efforts of his group members over the years.
“I’m super proud and super happy. I will say that [this award] reflects the tremendous dedication and hard work and creativity of my graduate students and postdocs throughout the years who have done all the really hard work,” commented Professor Buchwald.
The ceremony continued with Vice Chair of the Akira Suzuki Awards Organizing Committee Professor Tetsuya Taketsugu of ICReDD presenting the Inaugural ICReDD Award to David J. Wales, Professor of Chemical Physics at the University of Cambridge.
During his acceptance speech, Professor Wales expressed his gratitude for the award and his enthusiasm for ICReDD.
“I just want to say how grateful I am for this award and how much it means to me. I only wish we were meeting together in person. The Institute for Chemical Reaction Design and Discovery is a tremendously exciting innovation with a great future ahead and wonderful people,” said Professor Wales. “I hope we will be able to advance our collaborations and forge some new projects together in the future.”
Professor Wales also underscored the importance of international collaborations amidst the current geopolitical climate.
“Scientists can show the world how friendship and collaboration are a way forward for our society,” explained Professor Wales. “We need to set an example of how these strong bonds between nations should work. But nations are an abstract construction, and it is individuals who must actually make these connections. Together we can make a difference.”
Following the conferring of the awards, there was a video message from Professor Suzuki. Each recipient then gave an award lecture about their research. Video footage of the awards ceremony and awards lectures are now available to view online.
Award Ceremony Video
Award Lecture (Prof. Buchwald)
Award Lecture (Prof. Wales)
This news article was originally posted on ICReDD website.