CSU, Chico News

Inventor of LIPITOR to Speak at Chemists’ Gathering

Date: 01-25-2010

Kathleen McPartland
Public Affairs
Jim Postma
Department of Chemistry

Synthetic organic chemist Bruce Roth, Ph.D., synthesized the compound that would eventually be marketed as Lipitor as a researcher for Warner-Lambert/Parke-Davis. Roth will address the Northern California Subsection of the American Chemical Society (ACS) at a dinner on Friday, Jan. 29, at 6 p.m.

The dinner is being co-sponsored by the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at CSU, Chico. It is open to anyone who is interested. You do not have to be an ACS member to attend the event.

Roth received his Ph.D. in synthetic organic chemistry in 1981 at Iowa State University under the direction of George A. Kraus. He received postdoctoral training under the direction of Andrew S. Kende at the University of Rochester, where he completed the total synthesis of the insect antifeedant Ajugarin IV and the anticancer agent Quadrone.

In 1982, Roth joined the atherosclerosis chemistry section of the Warner-Lambert/Parke-Davis Co. in Ann Arbor, Mich. As part of a project aimed at discovering inhibitors of cholesterol biosynthesis, Roth synthesized what would be marketed as Lipitor. For the invention, Roth received the 1997 Warner-Lambert Chairman’s Distinguished Scientific Achievement award; the 1999 “Inventor of the Year Award” from the New York Intellectual Property Law Association; the 2003 American Chemical Society Award for Creative Invention; and several other awards.

Roth served as vice president of chemistry at Pfizer Global Research and Development in Ann Arbor from 2000 to 2007. He also served as an adjunct associate professor in the Department of Medicinal Chemistry in the School of Pharmacy, University of Michigan, from 1996 to 2007.

In May 2007, Roth joined Genentech Small Discovery as senior director of discovery chemistry. In August 2008, he was named one of the ACS “Heroes in Chemistry” for the discovery and development of Lipitor.

Roth is the inventor or co-inventor of 43 issued U.S. patents and the author or co-author of 50 manuscripts, 35 published abstracts, and nine book chapters and review articles.

The tickets for the dinner and speaker are $15 general and $5 for students. Call Kathy Johns, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, at 530-898-5259, or e-mail her at kjohns@csuchico.edu.