2010 Nobel Prize Winners

By Megan Gordon, Adriana Jackman, & Nathan Hardwick

2010 Nobel Prize Winners

Chemistry is a swell time!

What Did They Do?

  • Discovered palladium-catalyzed cross couplings in organic synthesis
  • Heck used palladium as a catalyst to start forming carbon-carbon bonds
  • Negishi started using zinc as an activator for palladium-catalyzed cross coupling
  • Suzuki started to used boron in palladium-catalyzed cross coupling (used to create organic polymers)

Why Did They Win?

  • The Heck reaction is used in the large-scale production of an anti-inflammatory drug
  • The Negishi reaction is used to artificially synthesize the drug discodermolide
  • The Suzuki reaction is used to create organic polymers
  • All of these reactions are extremely important to the pharmaceutical industry


  • Palladium - a transition metal used as a catalyst
  • Catalyst - a substance used to accelerate a reaction but not a reactant or product
  • Coupling Reaction - a reaction used to combine two hydrocarbons
  • Hydrocarbon - an organic molecule that consists of carbon and hydrogen