Kevin Maloney, PhD, Wins 2022 SCI Gordon E. Moore Medal


Chemist from Merck’s Process Research Lab is recognized for his leadership pharmaceutical manufacturing processes to be honored on September 13, 2022 

PHILADELPHIA, April 18, 2022 – The Society of Chemical Industry (SCI) America announced today that Kevin Maloney, PhD, is the recipient of the 19th annual Gordon E. Moore medal. SCI established the Gordon E. Moore Medal to recognize early-career success in innovation, as reflected both in market impact and improvement to quality of life. Dr. Maloney, research chemist at Merck, known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, will be presented the award at Innovation Day, hosted jointly by SCI and the Science History Institute on September 13, 2022 at the Science History Institute in Philadelphia.  

“Dr. Maloney’s research at Merck has already made important impacts on human health,” said John Paro, Chair and CEO of Hallstar and Chair of SCI America. “His work is having a direct impact on people’s daily quality of life and his research has laid the groundwork for a more sustainable and efficient future for pharmaceutical chemistry.”  

Dr. Maloney is known for leading three key innovative new technologies while at Merck, including using chemocatalysis in the production of ceftolozane synthesis, making the process more efficient in terms of waste and production time; using flow chemistry to synthesize gefapixant, Merck’s second introduction of a plug flow reactor for large scale manufacture; and the pioneering use of biocatalysis to engineer enzymes for use in the synthesis of islatravir. These innovations have led to more sustainable pharmaceutical manufacturing processes at Merck.  

“Dr. Maloney has demonstrated an unparalleled passion for pushing the frontiers of chemistry and reimagining how those innovations impact the way we manufacture our therapies,” said Rebecca Ruck, Assistant Vice President, Process Research and Development, Merck.   

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About Kevin Maloney 

Dr. Kevin M. Maloney is Executive Director, Process Chemistry, Merck Research Laboratories. Since joining Merck in 2007, he has held positions of increasing responsibility within the Process Research & Development organization. Throughout his time at Merck, he has successfully pursued a series of breakthrough innovations using enabling technologies in synthetic organic chemistry to develop green, sustainable, and cost-effective manufacturing processes for active pharmaceutical ingredients (API). 

Dr. Maloney’s leadership has been instrumental in driving innovation on both the current and future pipeline and developing the next generation of talent. His teams have employed chemocatalysis, flow chemistry and biocatalysis to develop green and sustainable commercial manufacturing processes for ceftolozane sulfate (the antibiotic in ZerbaxaTM), gefapixant (an investigational candidate for the treatment of chronic cough), and islatravir (an investigational candidate for the treatment for HIV). Through his leadership, a revolutionary advance in nucleoside synthesis for islatravir was developed utilizing an enzymatic cascade process that has changed the way chemists think about making nucleosides. Building on this innovative approach, a green and sustainable three-step process utilizing a novel biocatalytic cascade was developed for molnupiravir (LagevrioTM). Additionally, Dr. Maloney has collaborated with his colleague, Dr. Patrick Fier, to establish a research program developing new synthetic methodologies focused on a novel hydroxylation reaction to prepare complex phenols (Maloney-Fier Hydroxylation) and on transformation of sulfonamides for late-stage functionalization, resulting in five publications in top-tier journals.  

As a self-professed green chemistry champion, Dr. Maloney leads Merck’s Green & Sustainable Science Team, which focuses on reinforcing the role of green chemistry in pharmaceutical manufacturing through external and internal advocacy. In this role he has organized the annual Merck Green & Sustainable Science symposium and established API sustainability targets for small molecules as part of the Merck corporate sustainability goals. Over the past five years, Merck has received five consecutive Environmental Protection Agency Green Chemistry Challenge Awards. Lastly, Dr. Maloney is influential in the science community with more than 45 publications, several invited lectures and was recently awarded the inaugural ACS Division of Organic Chemistry Mid-Career Industrial Investigator Award. 

Dr. Maloney holds a PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology under Prof. Rick Danheiser, and a BS from Stetson University. 

About the Society of Chemical Industry (SCI) 

SCI America, launched in 1894, is part of the Society of Chemical Industry’s international organization. It provides a unique networking forum for chemical industry leaders, industrial scientists, and technologists to exchange new business ideas and best practices. It celebrates achievement to promote public awareness of the contributions of industrial chemistry and inspires students to enter technical careers. SCI America also offers its members the opportunity to become part of its growing network by participating in its annual Innovation Day, where young industry leaders come together to celebrate innovation in the chemical industry and to seek solutions for tomorrow’s challenges.  

By highlighting extraordinary individuals and their work, SCI America aims to promote public understanding of research and development in modern chemical industries, enhance the interest of students in applied chemistry by providing role models, and emphasize the role of creative research in the global economy. For more information, visit SCI America events are managed by the Science History Institute.  

About the Science History Institute 

The Science History Institute collects and shares the stories of innovators and of discoveries that shape our lives, with a special focus on the history of chemistry, chemical engineering, and the life sciences. The Institute houses an archive and a library for historians and researchers; a fellowship program for visiting scholars from around the globe; a community of researchers who examine historical and contemporary issues; an award-winning digital content platform that includes articles, podcasts, and videos; an acclaimed museum that is free and open to the public; and a state-of-the-art conference center. For more information, visit or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. 

SCI Media Contact 
Resa Thomason, SCI America