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The ACS GCI Pharmaceutical Roundtable Announces 8 Grant Winners

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Eight research groups have received funds from the ACS Green Chemistry Institute Pharmaceutical Roundtable (GCIPR) amounting to a total of $350,000. These grants advance key research areas identified by the Roundtable as well as emerging topics with the potential to provide significant sustainability advances.

Receiving $50,000 grants:

For increasing the breadth and utility of enzymes in pharmaceutical manufacturing, Prof. Yang Hai of the University of California Santa Barbara received an award for his proposal “Application of a PLP-dependent Mannich cyclase for biocatalytic synthesis of heterocyclic quaternary α-amino acids.”

The use of flow chemistry and continuous manufacturing have created a rapidly expanding demand for further development of real-time process analytical technology (PAT). Prof. Dr. C. Oliver Kappe from the University of Graz, Austria was awarded the grant to pursue process analytical technology (PAT) for flow chemistry with his research proposal, “Simplified PAT Strategies for Calibration-Free Real-Time Data Gathering and Utilization in Automated Flow Chemistry Platforms.”

The Roundtable grant to develop strategies for greener synthesis and purification of peptides went to Prof. Christopher Sandford of Dartmouth College for his proposal, “Bifunctional Organocatalysts for Sustainable Peptide Bond Formation.”

Prof. Nicholas Snow of Seton Hall University received a grant for his proposal “‘Greening’ Pharmaceutical Analysis Using Gas Chromatography” to investigate the utilization of gas chromatography for the separation of higher molecular weight compounds to reduce solvent waste.  The goal is to explore a more sustainable alternative to the HPLC and UHPLC methods currently employed.

To support the GCIPR’s Medicinal Chemistry initiative, Professors Jack Norton and Aaron Moment of Columbia University received a grant for their proposal “Selective reduction of aromatic rings in advanced scaffolds in flow reactors with non-noble metal catalysis under mild conditions.”

To improve the sustainability of oligonucleotide manufacturing, Prof. Masad J. Damha of McGill University received a grant to study, “Oligonucleotide synthesis by resonant acoustic mixing (RAM).” According to Damha, RAM is a highly efficient mixing process that doesn’t require the use of milling media (ie., stainless steel balls) that are common to mechanochemical processes but problematic for scaling-up processes.

Receiving $25,000 ignition grants:

Jesús Fernández Lucas, Universidad Europea de Madrid, Spain, for his work, “Enzymatic synthesis of C-nucleosides.”

Prof. Yu Zhao, National University of Singapore, for his work “Electrocatalytic Functionalization of Commodity Alcohols to Produce Valuable Amines and Amides.”

Requests for Proposals on new research topics are issued each March each year. In total, the ACS GCIPR grant program has distributed over $3 million in green chemistry research funding since its inception. For more information, see: