The Esselen Award is presented annually to recognize and reward a U.S. or Canadian chemist whose scientific and technical work has contributed to the public well-being and has thereby communicated positive values of the chemical profession. Buchwald’s selection recognizes his major impact on medicinal chemistry, due to his development of palladium and copper catalyzed processes to form carbon-nitrogen and carbon-oxygen bonds. These catalysts are used daily by the discovery groups of nearly every major pharmaceutical company worldwide. His catalysts have enabled the synthesis of novel promising small molecule drugs targeting a very wide range of diseases.
Buchwald will receive the Esselen Award medal and a $5,000 prize at the Esselen award dinner and lecture at Harvard University on Thursday, April 8, 2010.