2013 Perkin Medal – Bruce D. Roth


Bruce Roth formal 2Bruce D. Roth began his academic career in in 1972 in Philadelphia, attending St. Joseph’s College, earning a bachelor of science degree in chemistry in 1976 He then went to Iowa State University as a doctoral student under George Kraus. After receiving his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Iowa State University in 1981, and a year as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Rochester, he joined Parke-Davis of Warner-Lambert Company as a Medicinal Chemist in 1982. He was promoted to Senior Scientist in 1984 and served in several other leadership roles during the next decade and a half.

In 2000, Roth was appointed Vice President of Chemistry just prior to the merger between Warner-Lambert and Pfizer.  In 2007 he joined Genentech in San FranciscoCalifornia as Senior Director of Discovery Chemistry.

Roth first synthesized atorvastatin in 1985. For that discovery, he received many prestigious awards including the 2003 American Chemical Society (ACS) Award for Creative Invention, the 2003 Esselen Award for Chemistry in the Public Service given by the North East Region Section of the ACS, the 2005 Iowa State University Distinguished Alumni Award, and the 2006 Pfizer Global Research and Development Achievement Award.

In 2008 Roth returned to Philadelphia where the ACS named him a Hero of Chemistry.

In addition to his discovery of atorvastatin, Roth is the inventor or co-inventor on 42 patents and the author or co-author of 48 manuscripts, 35 published abstracts and eight book chapters. He also served as an adjunct professor in the Department of Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Michigan.

He and his wife, Michelle, have four children: David, Sarah, Rebecca and Aaron.