Akira Suzuki Awards


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 Akira Suzuki Award Winner: Stephen L. Buchwald

Stephen L. Buchwald received his Sc.B. from Brown University (1977) and his Ph.D. with Jeremy Knowles from Harvard (1982). Following postdoctoral work at Caltech with R. H. Grubbs, he joined the faculty at MIT where he is now the Camille Dreyfus Professor.  He has received numerous honors, including the 2000 ACS Award in Organometallic Chemistry, the 2006 ACS Award for Creative Work in Synthetic Organic Chemistry and the Gustavus J. Esselen Award for Chemistry in the Public Interest in 2010. He received the 2013 Arthur C. Cope Award (ACS) and the the Linus Pauling Medal Award and the Ulysses Medal (both 2014). In 2015, he received the BBVA Frontiers in Knowledge Award in Basic Sciences (2014 Award). He also is the recipient of the William H. Nichols Award from the New York ACS (2016). In 2017, he received the Nagoya Gold Medal Lecture Award, the Carothers Award from the Delaware Section of the American Chemical Society. In 2018 he received the Tetrahedron Prize and the Dr. Karl Wamser Innovation Award (from the Technische Universität München). He was conferred with the 2019 Roger Adams Award (ACS) and the 2019 Wolf Prize in Chemistry. In 2021 he will receive the Huang Yaozeng Award in Organometallic Chemistry of the Chinese Chemical Society and the Award for Creativity in Molecular Design and Synthesis from the ACS Northern NJ Organic Topical Group. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the National Academy of Science.

2021 ICReDD Award Winner: David J. Wales

David J. Wales received his BA degree from Cambridge University in 1985, PhD in 1988, and ScD in 2004. He was a Lindemann Trust Fellow in 1989, a Research Fellow at Downing College Cambridge in 1990, a Lloyd’s of London Tercentenary Fellow in 1991, and a Royal Society University Research Fellow from 1991 to 1998. In 1998 he was appointed to a Lectureship in Cambridge and is now Professor of Chemical Physics and Chair of the Theory group. He was awarded the Cambridge University Norrish Prize for Chemistry and the Gonville and Caius College Schuldham Plate in 1985, the Meldola Medal and Prize in 1992 and the Tilden Prize in 2015, both by the Royal Society of Chemistry. He was a Baker Lecturer at Cornell University in 2005, the Inaugural Henry Frank Lecturer at the University of Pittsburgh in 2007, Distinguished Lecturer at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, USA in 2018, and was awarded a Visiting Miller Professorship at the University of California, Berkeley, for 2020. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2016. In 2020 he received a Humboldt Research Prize from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. His research primarily involves the exploration of energy landscapes, with applications to chemical biology, spectroscopy, machine learning, clusters, solids and surfaces.


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)


Inaugural Award Winners

Akira Suzuki Award:

2021  Stephen L. Buchwald (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

ICReDD Award:

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 4th ICReDD International Symposium held at Duke University on March 12-13th, 2022.


Please direct any inquiries regarding the Akira Suzuki Awards to:


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