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Uyeda honored with College of Science Faculty Research Award for groundbreaking contributions to organic synthesis and catalyst development


Chris Uyeda, H. C. Brown Professor of Chemistry, has been honored with the prestigious College of Science Faculty Research Award. This accolade recognizes his exceptional contributions to the field of chemistry, particularly in the realm of organic synthesis and catalyst development.

Uyeda's research focuses on the synthesis of organic compounds known as cyclopropanes, which consist of three-membered rings of carbon. Cyclopropanes are integral components of numerous pharmaceutical compounds, making them highly sought after in drug discovery and development.



Uyeda explained the significance of his research, highlighting a novel approach his lab has pioneered in the synthesis of cyclopropanes. Their method circumvents the use of high-energy reagents, enhancing safety and scalability in pharmaceutical manufacturing processes. Notably, Pfizer, a leading pharmaceutical company, has adopted Uyeda's methodology in the synthesis of Paxlovid, a key antiviral medication for the treatment of COVID-19.

When asked his thoughts on receiving the award, Uyeda humbly acknowledged, "This honor is as much for my students and colleagues as it is for me. The collaborative efforts of graduate and undergraduate researchers have been pivotal in driving innovation within our lab and contributing to our research endeavors."



Uyeda underscored the transformative impact of research experiences on students, emphasizing how such opportunities bridge the gap between fundamental chemistry and real-world applications. Through hands-on laboratory experiences, students gain insights into the practical implications of their scientific inquiries, fostering a deeper appreciation for the value of their contributions to human health and innovation.

In addition to his research endeavors, Uyeda is deeply engaged in teaching, imparting knowledge to both undergraduate and graduate students. His dedication to education is evident in his instruction of introductory organic chemistry courses, which enroll hundreds of students annually. By integrating practical insights into pharmaceutical compounds, Uyeda fosters connections between theoretical concepts and real-world applications, enriching the learning experiences of his students.



As an advocate for fundamental research, Uyeda's approach transcends conventional boundaries, focusing on addressing critical gaps in chemistry knowledge. His commitment to advancing the frontiers of science has garnered recognition not only within academia but also from industry leaders like Pfizer, who sought his expertise in optimizing synthetic processes for pharmaceutical production.

Uyeda's receipt of the College of Science Faculty Research Award underscores his exemplary contributions to chemistry research and education at Purdue University. His innovative approaches to organic synthesis and catalyst development exemplify Purdue's commitment to scientific excellence and innovation in the pursuit of knowledge.


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Writer: Alisha Referda,

Source: Chris Uyeda,

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