Akira Suzuki Awards


We are excited to announce the recipients of the 2023 Akira Suzuki Awards. Congratulations to the 2023 Akira Suzuki Award winner Professor Erick M. Carreira and the 2023 ICReDD Award winner Professor Frank Neese. For more details on this year’s award recipients, please refer to the “Recipients” tab.

The Akira Suzuki Awards were established in 2021 by the Akira Suzuki Award Organization Committee in commemoration of Professor Akira Suzuki being awarded the 2010 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, and to celebrate his 90th birthday. The purpose of the award is to recognize outstanding contributions to research in the discovery of chemical reactions, defined in the broadest sense, and  to contribute to the advancement of science and technology.

The two awards, the Akira Suzuki Award and the ICReDD Award, will be bestowed upon a researcher who has achieved remarkable results in the development of chemical reactions in the field of experimental chemistry (Akira Suzuki Award) or the fields of computational (theoretical) chemistry and information science (ICReDD Award). Each award is given to one person each year, regardless of age or nationality.

There will be an award ceremony and an award lecture every year. The winners receive a medal and a monetary prize.

2021 Inaugural Akira Suzuki Award Ceremony



Professor Akira Suzuki was born in Hokkaido, Japan, on September 12, 1930.

After graduating from the Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science at Hokkaido University in 1954, he completed a master’s degree at the Graduate School of Science, Hokkaido University in 1956 and completed his PhD there in 1960.
In 1961, he became an assistant professor at the Department of Synthetic Chemistry, Faculty of Engineering at Hokkaido University. From 1973, he served as a professor at the Department of Applied Chemistry for about 20 years, retiring in 1994 to become a professor emeritus at Hokkaido University.

After his retirement, he served as a professor at Okayama University of Science in 1994 and at Kurashiki University of Science and the Arts from 1995 to 2002.
During this period, he was an invited professor at Purdue University in the U.S. in 2001, and later became an invited professor and professor emeritus at various universities in Japan and abroad, including Hokkaido University.
In 2015, he was awarded the title of University Professor of Hokkaido University, which is given to researchers who have made globally outstanding educational and research achievements and who are recognized as contributing to the advancement of education and research at Hokkaido University over the long term.

For two years from 1963, he worked as a postdoctoral fellow in H. C. Brown’s laboratory at Purdue University in the U.S., where he was engaged in research on the synthesis and utilization of organoboron compounds. After returning to Japan, he further developed this field and made many outstanding achievements. In particular, the palladium-catalyzed cross-coupling reaction of organoboron compounds reported in 1979 has had a great impact not only on synthetic organic chemistry but also on a wide range of fields such as catalytic chemistry and materials science. The Suzuki coupling reaction, which was the reason he was awarded the 2010 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, has made a significant contribution to the development and mass production of products that are familiar to us, such as pharmaceuticals, pesticides, liquid crystals essential for IT equipment, and organic light-emitting diodes.


The selection of the winners is based on recommendations from the respective Selection Committees, which are composed of domestic and international experts commissioned by the chairman of the Award Organizing Committee. These recommendations are reviewed by the Award Organizing Committee and a final selection is made.

Award Organizing Committee:

Chairman Masaya Sawamura (Professor, Hokkaido University)
Vice Chairman Tetsuya Taketsugu (Professor, Hokkaido University)
Hajime Ito (Professor, Hokkaido University)
Yoshihiro Sato (Professor, Hokkaido University)
Satoshi Maeda (Professor, Hokkaido University)
Tamiki Komatsuzaki (Professor, Hokkaido University)

Akira Suzuki Award Selection Committee:

Timothy F. Jamison (Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
Bernhard Breit (Professor, University of Freiburg)
Benjamin List (Professor, Max Planck Institute and Specially Appointed Professor, ICReDD)
Masaya Sawamura (Professor, Hokkaido University)
Hajime Ito (Professor, Hokkaido University)
Yoshihiro Sato (Professor, Hokkaido University)

ICReDD Award Selection Committee:

Michael Rubinstein (Professor, Duke University and Principal Investigator, ICReDD)
Alexandre Varnek (Professor, University of Strasbourg and Principal Investigator, ICReDD)
Hirofumi Sato (Professor, Kyoto University)
Tetsuya Taketsugu (Professor, Hokkaido University)
Satoshi Maeda (Professor, Hokkaido University)
Tamiki Komatsuzaki (Professor, Hokkaido University)
Junya Hasegawa (Professor, Hokkaido University)


2023 Akira Suzuki Award Winners

Akira Suzuki Award:

Erick M. Carreira (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich)

Prof. Erick M. Carreira obtained a B.S. degree in 1984 from the University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign under the supervision of Scott E. Denmark and a Ph.D. degree in 1990 from Harvard University under the supervision of David A. Evans. After carrying out postdoctoral work with Peter Dervan at the California Institute of Technology through late 1992, he joined the faculty at the same institution as an assistant professor of chemistry and subsequently was promoted to the rank of associate professor of chemistry in the Spring of 1996, and full professor in Spring 1997.  Since September 1998, he has been professor of chemistry at the ETH Zürich in the Institute of Organic Chemistry. Since 2011, he has also been a Member of the Competence Center for Systems Physiology and Metabolic Diseases at ETH-Zürich. Professor Carreira is a member of the National Academy of Sciences of USA and American Academy of Arts and Sciences.  He was associate editor with Organic Letters, Thieme Verlag (Synfacts and Synthesis), and Organic Synthesis. He served as Editor-in-Chief for Organic Letters 2019-2020, and as of January 2021 he is the Editor-in-Chief of J. Am. Chem. Soc. Together with colleagues at ETH Zurich he has co-founded three companies:  Lipideon, SpiroChem, and Glycemicon.  He is a consultant for companies in North America, Europe, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Asia, and Africa.

He is the recipient of numerous awards, a selection of which includes: Morris Travers Memorial Lecture IISc Bangalore; G. K. Trivedi Annual Award Lecture 2023″ at IIT Bombay; Kharasch Lectureship, University of Chicago; Noyori Prize, Eun Lee Lectureship Award, Seoul National University, Korea; Barluenga Medal by the Royal Society of Chemistry; C. S. Marvel Lectureship by the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; Lieben Award by the Austrian Chemical Society; Ziegler Award Lecture, MPI Mulheim, DE; Tischler Award Lecture, Harvard University; Gassman Award Lecture, University of Minnesota; Seymour Rothchild Lecture Award, European Research Commission Award, the ACS Award for Creative Work in Synthetic Organic Chemistry; A. Cruishank Lecturer, Gordon Research Conferences; DSM Science and Technology Award; Tetrahedron Chair; Tetrahedron Young Investigator Award; Thieme Prize, Springer Award, American Chemical Society Award in Pure Chemistry, and Nobel Laureate Signature Award.  Professor Carreira has authored over 350 publications and 36 patents.  He has mentored in his laboratory 140 undergraduates, 110 doctoral students, and 81 post-doctoral associates.

ICReDD Award:

Frank Neese (Max Planck Institute for Coal Research)

Frank Neese received both his Diploma (Biology, 1993) and PH.D (Dr. rer. Nat., 1997) working with Peter Kroneck at the University of Konstanz. He performed Postdoctoral work at Stanford University with Edward Solomon (1997-1999) before returning to Konstanz for his Habilitation ( 2001). He joined the Max Planck Institute (MPI) for Bioinorganic Chemistry in 2001 as a group leader until accepting the position of Chair of Theoretical Chemistry at the University of Bonn (2006). In 2011, Neese was appointed Director of the MPI for Chemical Energy Conversion. In 2018, Neese relocated his activities to the MPI für Kohlenforschung as the successor of the late Walter Thiel. In 2010, Neese received the highest award of the German Science foundation, the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Award followed by numerous national and international awards including the Schrödinger medal of the World Association of Theoretically Oriented Chemists (2022). Neese is member of various national and international academies including the German National Academy of Sciences (Leopoldina, 2013) and the Academia Europaea (2018). Neese has authored >700 scientific publications and has been listed among the top 1% world-wide most highly cited chemists since 2015. His work focuses on the theory of magnetic spectroscopies (electron paramagnetic resonance, magnetic circular dichroism) and their experimental and theoretical application, local pair natural orbital correlation theories, multi-reference methods, electronic and geometric structure and reactivity of transition metal complexes and metalloenzymes. Neese is the lead author of the ORCA program, as well as co-founder of the company FAccTs (2017) that distributes ORCA commercially.

Past Recipients

Akira Suzuki Award:
2022 — John F. Hartwig (University of California-Berkeley)
2021 — Stephen L. Buchwald (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

ICReDD Award:
2022 — Kendall N. Houk (University of California-Los Angeles)
2021 — David J. Wales (University of Cambridge)


Registration for the award lectures will be opened up at a later date. The award ceremony and lectures will take place as part of the 6th ICReDD International Symposium, which will be held as a hybrid in-person and online event on September 10-11th, 2023.


Please direct any inquiries regarding the Akira Suzuki Awards to:


The Akira Suzuki Awards are funded by the generous sponsorship of the Tosoh Corporation.