Faculty of Mathematics and Science
Recipient, 2010 Alfred Bader Award from Canadian Society For Chemistry
Converting aromatic compounds, often considered industrial wastes, into valuable pharmaceutical compounds.
The work will lead to the manufacture of compounds needed by society, specifically related to analgesic, anesthetic and anti-tumor products in an environmentally benign way.
A Greener Way of Doing Things
No one questions the benefits of most pharmaceutical products. But what about the harmful industrial waste that is created during their manufacturing process?
At present, in long synthetic preparations, 100,000 times more weight is generated in undesirable by-products than in the final target. This pharmaceutical waste is costly both for the manufacturer and the environment. We need to find a better way of doing things.
Tomas Hudlicky, Canada Research Chair, is tackling the environmental problems associated with pharmaceutical synthesis through the application of "green chemistry." Green chemistry is based on the belief that chemistry does not need to be at odds with the environment, that it can in fact benefit the environment. It relies on the current efforts being made by scientists to advance the frontiers of chemical synthesis so that the processes have positive environmental effects.
A "green" scientist, Hudlicky converts pharmaceutical waste into a variety of desirable pharmaceutical compounds. His research gives the harmful waste of the past a new life as analgesic, anesthetic and anti-tumour products, specifically compounds used in the treatment of cancer, bio-infection and diabetes.
Throughout his career, Hudlicky has adhered to the mandates of green chemistry, particularly with regard to efficiency. His research has dramatically minimized pharmaceutical waste by finding ways to apply short synthetic preparations to the manufacture of chemical compounds, making their manufacture more efficient and therefore cleaner and greener. The efficiencies that he has achieved remain unsurpassed.
Canada Research Chair
Natural Sciences and Engineering