Previous speakers and artists

January 26-28, 2015

The power of metal catalysis transition for a prosperous and sustainable and 21st century

Prof. Ei-ichi Negishi

Keynote Speaker

Prof. Ei-ichi Negishi is a 2010 Nobel Laureate for Chemistry and the inaugural H.C. Brown Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at Purdue University who was awarded the Nobel Prize for his research on palladium-catalyzed cross-coupling reactions in organic synthesis which is being widely used as a technology that drastically accelerates organic synthesis reactivity. This chemical tool has vastly improved the possibilities for chemists to create sophisticated chemicals, for example carbon-based molecules as complex as those created by nature itself.

Carbon-based (organic) chemistry is the basis of life and is responsible for numerous fascinating natural phenomena: color in flowers, snake poison and bacteria killing substances such as penicillin. Organic chemistry has allowed man to build on nature's chemistry; making use of carbon's ability to provide a stable skeleton for functional molecules. This has given mankind new medicines and revolutionary materials such as plastics.

In order to create these complex chemicals, chemists need to be able to join carbon atoms together. However, carbon is stable and carbon atoms do not easily react with one another. The first methods used by chemists to bind carbon atoms together were therefore based upon various techniques for rendering carbon more reactive. Such methods worked when creating simple molecules, but when synthesizing more complex molecules chemists ended up with too many unwanted by-products in their test tubes.

Palladium-catalyzed cross-coupling solved that problem and provided chemists with a more precise and efficient tool to work with. In the Negishi reaction carbon atoms meet on a palladium atom, whereupon their proximity to one another kick-starts the chemical reaction.

Palladium-catalyzed cross coupling is used in research worldwide as well as in the commercial production of for example pharmaceuticals and molecules used in the electronics industry.

Professor Negishi's work laid the foundation for the synthesis of chemicals for applications in such diverse areas as pharmaceuticals, agricultural products and advanced technological materials. Palladium-catalyzed cross coupling also led to breakthroughs in DNA sequencing. It is now the standard method for linking carbon atoms together and forming a stable framework for organic molecules. Practical applications of Professor Negichi's research include the manufacture of light-emitting diodes used to make ultra-thin television and computer screens and the development of drugs to fight cancer. The anti-cancer drug Gleevec (imatinib) and the blood-pressure medication Diovan (valsartan) as well as the fungicide boscalid are just some of the fruits of palladium chemistry.

Ei-ichi Negishi grew up in Japan and received his Bachelor's degree from the University of Tokyo in 1958. After he obtained his Ph.D. degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1963, he joined Professor H. C. Brown's Laboratories at Purdue as a Postdoctoral Associate in 1966 and was appointed Assistant to Professor Brown in 1968. In the meantime he was a research chemist at Teijin, Ltd., from 1958-1960 and 1963-1966. Ei-ichi Negishi went to Syracuse University as Assistant Professor in 1972 and began his life-long investigations of transition metal-catalyzed organometallic reactions for organic synthesis. He was promoted to Associate Professor at Syracuse University in 1976 and invited back to Purdue University as full Professor in 1979.

Apart from the Nobel Prize Professor Negishi has received various other awards including the 1996 Chemical Society of Japan Award, the 1998 ACS Award in Organometallic Chemistry, the 1998-2001 Alexander von Humboldt Senior Researcher Award in Germany, the 2000 Sir Edward Frankland Prize of the Royal Society of Chemistry in the UK, the 2007 Yamada-Koga Prize in Japan, the 2010 ACS Award for Creative Work in Synthetic Organic Chemistry, the 2010 Japanese Order of Culture and the 2011 Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Professor Negishi also serves as Executive Research Advisor to Sony for research and development in the area of organic electronics.


Monday, January 26, 2015

14:00 Public keynote speech and dialogue at Kasetsart University in Bangkok (Thailand)
Information and free seat reservation:
Phone: (02) 562-5444, 562-5555 Ext. 1013 or 1111
Email: or
click here for online registration

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

09:30 Dialogue with high school students at Stamford American International School in Singapore
(not a public event)

14:00 Public keynote speech and dialogue at A*STAR Agency for Science, Technology and Research in Singapore
Information and free seat reservation:
click here for online registration