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At AstraZeneca, we recognize that advances in medicine rely on innovations in chemistry. To reward outstanding contributions to the art of organic chemistry, we are introducing a global awards program where we will present two AZ Young Investigator Awards in each region (North America, Europe and Asia) annually and one global AZ Distinguished Career Award every other year (starting 2012).

Now a global awards program

At AstraZeneca, we recognize that advances in medicine rely on innovations in chemistry.

To reward outstanding contributions to the art of organic chemistry, we are introducing a global awards program where we will present two AZ Young Investigator Awards in each region (North America, Europe and Asia) annually and one global AZ Distinguished Career Award every other year (starting 2012).

This program builds on the legacy of our different existing national or regional awards programs, where some of them have been in place for over 25 years.

The AZ Young Investigator Awards are awarded to talented young academic researchers who have demonstrated distinct achievements in synthetic, computational, mechanistic or bioorganic chemistry. Each of the awardees is presented with a $50,000 unrestricted research grant intended to help foster continued growth and development of their research programs.

"The medicines of tomorrow will come from the pioneering science of today and we are proud to recognise and support innovative academic research in chemistry through our global Excellence in Chemistry Awards Program" says Mene Pangalos EVP Innovative Medicines AstraZeneca.

The awardees are selected by a team of AstraZeneca senior scientists and external colleagues from academia. Past winners include many scientists who have gone on to become leaders in the organic chemistry community.

This year’s AZ Young Investigator Award winners are:

ASIA

Dr Govindasamy Mugesh, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India

Professor Shuli You, Shanghai Institute of Organic Chemistry, China

EUROPE

Professor Lutz Ackermann, Georg-August-University Göttingen, Germany

Dr Hon Wai Lam, University of Edinburgh, UK

NORTH AMERICA

Professor André Beauchemin, University of Ottawa, Canada

Professor Neil Garg, University of California, Los Angeles, US

Award ceremonies will be held at AstraZeneca sites in Boston, US, Alderley Park, UK, and Bangalore, India in December and January.

About the award winners:

Dr Govindasamy Mugesh is very active in bioorganic chemistry research and his main focus is to understand the chemistry and biology of medicinally important metalloproteins and to develop novel synthetic methodologies for functionally mimicking the active site of these proteins. His group is also working on design and synthesis of novel compounds as inhibitors of heme peroxidases and zinc hydrolases.

Professor Shuli You is focused on the development of stereoselective C-H functionalization process and catalytic asymmetric dearomatization reactions. His group has also developed various highly enantioselective Friedel-Crafts alkylation based on the indole and pyrrole systems, both of which are known, very popular motifs in pharmaceutical related compounds.

Professor Lutz Ackermann research has focused in the field of direct C-H bond functionalisation. This has resulted in the design of an efficient and broadly-applicable carboxylate-assisted ruthenium-catalysed C-H activation methodology. Lutz has also applied ruthenium-catalysed C-H activation to a range of annulation methodologies, from pyridine synthesis to formation of more challenging pyridones and lactones.

Dr Hon Wai Lam’s research program is focussed on the development of new reaction methodology of broad utility to organic synthesis, particularly the design of new metal-catalyzed reactions that result in rapid increases in molecular and/or stereochemical complexity. Projects involve the development of catalytic systems that operate through novel modes of action and which lead to product formation with high levels of diastereo- and enantiocontrol.

Professor André Beauchemin’s research group focuses on the development of new synthetic methods for the synthesis of nitrogen containing molecules and their application in synthesis. His group has developed a metal-free amination portfolio for the synthesis of various types of nitrogen-containing molecules, including hydroxylamines, hydrazines, oximes, several saturated nitrogen heterocycles, pyridines, pyrazines, -aminocarbonyl motifs and enantioenriched diamines.

Professor Neil Garg. Research in the Garg laboratory is directed toward the development of synthetic strategies and methods that enable the synthesis of complex bioactive molecules. Garg has developed nickel-catalyzed cross-coupling reactions of a series of unconventional phenol-based electrophiles. These discoveries have facilitated concise syntheses of the drugs flurbiprofen and linezolid. In addition, Garg’s laboratory has pioneered new tactics for the preparation of functionalized heterocycles.

About AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca is a global, innovation-driven biopharmaceutical business with a primary focus on the discovery, development and commercialisation of prescription medicines for gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, neuroscience, respiratory and inflammation, oncology and infectious disease. AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide. For more information please visit: www.astrazeneca.com

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