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Chemists honor 'Heroes' for biotechnology achievements in health

Thirteen research chemists from four companies have been named Heroes of Chemistry by the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society, for improving health and well-being by creating new drugs, vaccines, nutritional supplements and other biotechnology products based on chemistry or biochemistry.

Multidisciplinary teams from 3M, QLT Inc., Schering-Plough Corp. and Wyeth Pharmaceuticals have been recognized by the ACS for developing innovative therapies for eye disease, skin cancer, leukemia, genital warts, high cholesterol and other ailments. Heroes are nominated by their companies and the winners are chosen by an ACS panel to recognize industrial work that has lead to the successful development and commercial sale of a technological product.

The Heroes of Chemistry program, started in 1996 by the ACS, honors industrial chemists and chemical engineers who create commercially successful products that improve the quality of life. Last year's program honored 17 scientists from four companies for developing products based on chemistry that improved children's health and wellness.

This year's teams will be honored as Heroes of Chemistry at the American Chemical Society's 228th national meeting in Philadelphia on Aug. 22.

"The chemical advances made by our Heroes serve as testimonials to the valuable role chemists, chemical engineers and allied scientists play in improving lives," says Charles P. Casey, Ph.D., president of the American Chemical Society. "It is with pride that the ACS recognizes these Heroes of Chemistry."

The keynote speaker for the Heroes program is James Watson, Ph.D., president of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, who, with Francis Crick, Ph.D., and Maurice Wilkins, Ph.D., was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1962 for discovering that the structure of DNA is in the shape of a double helix.

The companies and their achievements are:

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