The Akira Suzuki Award and the ICReDD Award, both sponsored by the Tosoh Corporation, were established in 2021 by the Akira Suzuki Award Organizing Committee, led by professors at the Institute for Chemical Reaction Design and Discovery (ICReDD), in commemoration of Professor Akira Suzuki’s winning of the 2010 Nobel Prize in Chemistry and in celebration of his 90th birthday. The purpose of these awards is to recognize outstanding contributions to chemical reaction design and discovery defined in the broadest sense, and to contribute to the advancement of science and technology. The Akira Suzuki Award honors contributions made via experimental chemistry, while the ICReDD Award honors contributions made via computational (theoretical) chemistry and information science.
The awards consist of a medal and a monetary prize. The awards are bestowed each year during the annual ICReDD International Symposium, at which recipients give an award lecture. Winners are selected by the Award Selection Committee, separate from the Award Organizing Committee, based on the above criteria.
The winner of the inaugural Akira Suzuki Award for 2021 is Stephen L. Buchwald, the Camille Dreyfus Professor of Chemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He completed his PhD with Jeremy R. Knowles at Harvard University in 1982. He then was a postdoctoral fellow at Caltech with Robert Grubbs before joining the faculty at MIT in 1984. Professor Buchwald is well-known for developing the Buchwald-Hartwig amination, which enables aromatic carbon-nitrogen bond formation. His group focuses on the creation of catalysts that enable carbon-carbon and carbon-nitrogen bond formation and as well as other methods for the synthesis and modification of bioactive molecules.
The winner of the inaugural ICReDD Award for 2021 is David J. Wales, Professor of Chemical Physics at the University of Cambridge and Chair of the Theoretical Chemistry group. He completed his PhD at Cambridge in 1988 under the supervision of Anthony J. Stone and then held a series of research fellowships, including a Royal Society University Research Fellowship from 1991 to 1998. He became a lecturer at Cambridge in 1998 and a professor in 2008, and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2016. His research focuses on understanding how structure, dynamics and thermodynamics are encoded in the potential energy landscape, with applications to protein folding, cluster chemistry, and glasses.
Established in 2018 in Sapporo, Japan, the Institute for Chemical Reaction Design and Discovery (ICReDD) at Hokkaido University is part of the World Premier Institute (WPI) program, a set of cutting-edge research institutes in Japan focusing on internationalization and interdisciplinary research. At ICReDD, researchers from different fields combine their strengths to take full control over chemical reactions. ICReDD combines experimental chemistry, computational chemistry, and information science to revolutionize chemical reaction design and discovery.