ACS GCI Pharmaceutical Roundtable
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Advancing Research

The ACS GCI Pharmaceutical Roundtable has identified key synthetic chemistry and process research challenges whose solutions would result in more efficient pharmaceutical process development and production. To spur research in these areas, the Roundtable created and maintains a research grant program, whose impact over the years has been recently documented. The Roundtable also advocates for targeted green chemistry and engineering support to academic and government labs from international and U.S. federal funding agencies.

Key Research Areas

In 2007, the Roundtable published a seminal paper outlining the most relevant and promising green chemistry research areas within the pharmaceutical industry. The paper provides industry insight for academic researchers interested in pharmaceutical research and has been widely cited.

The Roundtable published an update to this paper in 2018:

Key Green Chemistry research areas from a pharmaceutical manufacturers’ perspective revisited. Marian C. Bryan, Peter J. Dunn, David Entwistle, Fabrice Gallou, Stefan G. Koenig, John D. Hayler, Matthew R. Hickey, Shaun Hughes, Michael E. Kopach, Gerard Moine, Paul Richardson, Frank Roschangar, Alan Steven and Franz J. Weiberth. Green Chem., 2018, 20, 5082.
DOI: 10.1039/C8GC01276H

12 Key Research Areas

  1. Development of effective and versatile methodology utilizing cheap/sustainable metals.
  2. General methods for catalytic/sustainable (direct) amide or peptide formation.
  3. Aliphatic and aromatic C–H activation, using green oxidants and giving predictable site selectivities.
  4. Amide reductions avoiding LiAlH4 and diborane.
  5. Direct substitution of alcohols.
  6. Catalyst immobilization without significant loss in kinetics.
  7. Asymmetric hydrogenation of unfunctionalized olefins/ enamines/imines.
  8. Improved fluorination/trifluoromethoxylation.
  9. Wittig chemistry without Ph3PO.
  10. Alternatives for oxidations, C–O or C–N redox processes.
  11. Viable replacements for polar aprotic solvents.
  12. Viable replacements for halogenated solvents.

Research Grants

Over $2 million dollars (US) have been funded by the ACS GCI Pharmaceutical Roundtable since their grant program began in 2007. Each Spring, new Request for Proposals (RFPs) are issued for different key research challenges faced by the pharmaceutical industry.

Open Request for Proposals

Please check back in Spring, 2020; requests are currently closed.

Awarded Grants

  • 2019

    Ryan Shenvi, Scripps Research, $50,000
    “C–N Attached-Ring Synthesis by Markovnikov Hydroamination”

    Susan Olesik, The Ohio State University, $46,996
    “A Study of the Environmental Impact of Analytical and Preparative Scale Supercritical Fluid Chromatographic Processes”

    Fernando Albericio and Beatriz G. de la Torre, University of KwaZulu-Natal, $25,000
    “Baroc, a Green α-Amino Protecting Group for Solid-Phase Peptide Synthesis”

    Mark Mason, The University of Toledo, $25,000
    “Iron-Catalyzed Cross-Coupling of Heterocycles”

    Aaron Vannucci, University of South Carolina, $25,000
    “A New Approach to Catalyst Immobilization Research: Designing Molecular Catalysts for Heterogeneous Catalysis”

    Arnaud Voituriez, Institut de Chimie des Substances Naturelles, $25,000
    “Towards an Electro-Catalytic Wittig Reaction”

  • 2018

    Song Lin, Cornell University, $25,000
    “Electrocatalytic Fluorination Reactions Using Sustainable Fluorine Sources”

    Benjamin Wiley, Duke University, $25,000

    “C-H/C-H Cross-Coupling of Aromatic Compounds with Flow-Through Nanowire Electrode”

    Jennifer L. Stockdill, Wayne State University, $50,000

    “Catalytic Desulfurization of Peptides”

  • 2017

    Corey Stephenson, University of Michigan, $50,000
    “A Microfluidic Platform for Discovery and Optimization of Photoredox Reactions”

    Jennifer L. Stockdill, Wayne State University, $50,000
    “A Green Strategy for the Synthesis of Head-to-Tail Macrocyclic Peptides”

    James Kiddle, Western Michigan University, $25,000
    “The Wittig Reaction Metamorphosis from Phosphorus to Boron”

    Stephen G. Newman, University of Ottawa, $25,000
    “Using Flow Chemistry to Harness Ozone as a Sustainable Oxidant for C–H Functionalization”

    Andrew Texeira, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, $25,000
    “Enhanced Site-Accessibility for Solid-Phase Coupling in Hierarchical Materials”

  • 2016

    Dennis Hall, University of Alberta, $25,000
    “Borate-Based Catalytic Directing Groups for Alkene and C–H Functionalization Reactions Using Readily Available Alcohol Substrates”

    Oana Luca, University of Colorado – Boulder, $25,000

    “Catalyst and Electrolyte-Free Direct Electrochemical Cross Coupling”

    Jeff Byers, Boston College, $25,000
    “Development of an Iron-Based Catalyst for Suzuki-Miyaura Cross Coupling Reactions”

    Zach Amara, National Des Arvts Et Métiers, $25,000
    “Smart Synthesis with Magnetically Recoverable Visible Light Photocatalysts”

    Leo Choe Peng, Universiti Sains Malaysia, $16,000
    “Diafiltration of Monoclonal Antibody using pH Responsive Membrane with Positive Charge.

    Andrew Zydney, Penn State, $50,000
    “Countercurrent Staged Diafiltration for Monoclonal Antibody Formulation.”

    Amanda Evans, California State University, Fullerton, $50,000
    “Enz-Flow/Continuous Bioprocessing: Towards a green continuous flow synthesis of levomilnacipran”

  • 2015

    A. John Blacker, University of Leeds, $50,000
    “Process Development of Continuous Flow Oxidative Biotransformations”

    Graham Dobereiner, Temple University, $50,000
    “Tandem Catalytic Process in Flow: Synthesis of amides via mild photochemical carbonylation using CO2 as a carbonyl source”

    Amanda C. Evans, California State University, $50,000
    “Enz-Flow/Continuous Bioprocessing: Towards a green continuous flow synthesis of levomilnacipran”

  • 2014

    Matthias Beller, Leibniz-Institut für Katalyse, $50,000
    “Hydrogenation of Amides promoted by Ru- and Fe-Pincer Complexes—Ligand-Metal Cooperative Catalysis for the Mild and Selective Synthesis of Amines”

    Neal Mankad, University of Illinois at Chicago, $100,000
    “Bimetallic Approach to Iron-Catalyzed Coupling Reactions”

  • 2013

    Paul Chirik, Princeton University, $100,000
    “Modern Alchemy: New Paradigms for Enabling Base Metal-Catalyzed Cross-Coupling in the Pharmaceutical Industry”

    Daniel Weix, University of Rochester, $50,000
    “Direct Synthesis of Alkylated Arenes and Heteroarenes from the Cross-Coupling of Heteroaromatic Halides in Non-Amide Solvents”

    Janet Scott, University of Bath, $100,000
    “Intelligent Selection of Greener Solvents”

  • 2012

    Neil Garg, UCLA, $60,000
    “Development of Green Nickel-Catalyzed Cross-Coupling Reactions”

  • 2011

    Shannon Stahl, University of Wisconsin-Madison, $150,000
    “Oxidation/Epoxidation Methods Without the Use of Chlorinated Solvents: Chemoselective Aerobic Alcohol Oxidation Catalyzed by Earth-Abundant Metals”

    Wei Zhang, University of Massachusetts-Boston, $25,000
    “Greener Grignard Reactions”

    Charles Liotta, Georgia Tech University, $150,000
    “Green and Effective Continuous Catalytic Homo-Nazarov Cyclization Towards Multi-Step Synthesis of Heteroaromatic Ring-Fused Clyclohexanones”

  • 2010

    David Cole-Hamilton, University of St. Andrews, $150,000
    “Amide Hydrogenation to Amines”

  • 2009

    Robert Crabtree, Yale University, $160,000
    “Atom Economic Alcohol Activation and Amide Synthesis Using Base-Metal Catalysts Heterogenized on Titania Nanoparticles”


  • 2008

    Chao-Jun Li, McGill University, $130,000
    “Chiral Amines via Asymmetric Multi-component Reactions”

    Michael Krische, University of Texas-Austin, $129,000

    “Byproduct-Free Synthesis of Chiral Amines via C-C Bond Forming Transfer Hydrogenation and Hydrogen Auto-Transfer”

  • 2007

    Robert Maleczka and Milton Smith, Michigan State University, $100,000
    “Catalytic C-H Activation/Cross-Coupling of Aromatics (Avoiding the Preparation of Haloaromatics)”

    Jianliang Xiao, University of Liverpool, $126,166
    “Hydrogenation of Amides by Multifunctional Catalysts via Ground State Destabilisation”

Impact of Grant Program

To date, 28 research programs have been funded globally on topics such as C–H activation, flow chemistry, biocatalysis, novel catalytic transformations, base metal catalysis, and solvent substitution. From these research projects, 73 peer-reviewed publications have resulted with over 1700 unique daughter citations (see reference below).



Evaluating the Impact of a Decade of Funding from the Green Chemistry Institute Pharmaceutical Roundtable
Stefan G. Koenig, David K. Leahy, and Andrew S. Wells
Org. Process Res. Dev., 2018, 22 (10), 1344-1359.

Journal Publications

In addition to the publications resulting from the grant program, the Roundtable is a frequent and influential publisher on a variety of topics. Recent publications include:

See a complete list of publications

Copyright © 2019 ACS Green Chemistry Institute Pharmaceutical Roundtable