One of Purdue’s own receives highest honor for a scientist

Ei-ichi Negishi has been elected into the National Academy of Sciences. (Photo Provided/Purdue University-Andrew Hancock)
Ei-ichi Negishi has been elected into the National Academy of Sciences. (Photo Provided/Purdue University-Andrew Hancock)

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – One of the highest honors for a scientist is to be elected into the National Academy of Sciences and one Purdue professor has been bestowed this great achievement.

Purdue University announced Wednesday that Nobel laureate Ei-ichi Negishi has been elected into the National Academy of Sciences. He will be inducted into the academy at its next annual meeting.

Negishi, the Herbert C. Brown Distinguished Professor and Teijin Limited Director of the Negishi-Brown Institute, was elected to the academy as a foreign associate in recognition of his distinguished and continuing achievements in original research, according to Purdue representatives.

Purdue President Mitch Daniels said in a release, Dr. Negishi has earned the highest honors for a scientist, but election to the National Academy of Sciences is a particularly distinguished recognition to add to his list of accomplishments.

“The honors bestowed upon him also reflect positively on the Department of Chemistry, the College of Science and the university, and we share in this proud moment,” said Daniels. “His work has improved many areas of our lives, from pharmaceutical manufacturing to electronics. And even after such inspiring achievements, he continues his work and strives to solve scientific challenges to better our world.”

Negishi was awarded the 2010 Nobel Prize in chemistry for his palladium-catalyzed cross coupling technique to link carbon atoms and synthesize molecules. The university said in addition to its use in the development of the painkiller naproxen and the cancer treatment taxol, it is estimated that “Negishi coupling” is used in more than one-quarter of all chemical reactions in the pharmaceutical industry. The technique also has been used in fluorescent marking essential for DNA sequencing and in the creation of materials for thin LED displays.

Negishi is among 84 new members and 21 foreign associates elected into the academy this year. He joins four Purdue colleagues as current members of the academy: Joseph S. Francisco, the William E. Moore Distinguished Professor of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences and Chemistry; H. Jay Melosh, distinguished professor of earth, atmospheric and planetary sciences and physics; Michael Rossmann, the Hanley Distinguished Professor of Biological Sciences; and Jian-Kang Zhu, distinguished professor of plant biology.

Among the National Academy of Science’s renowned members are Albert Einstein, Robert Oppenheimer, Thomas Edison, Orville Wright and Alexander Graham Bell. Nearly 200 living academy members have won Nobel Prizes.

For more information and the full list of newly elected members, visit the National Academies website. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language, off topic, or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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