Last month, UMass Boston and Yale University co-hosted a green chemistry workshop at UMass Boston, celebrating the many achievements of academic and industry leaders in the emergent field. Green chemistry is a relatively new field of study that involves the integration of environmentally friendly and efficient techniques into chemical processes. Green chemistry techniques can be applied to almost any scientific process – from producing new drugs, to growing food.
UMass Boston has long been a leader in green chemistry, and many of the earliest innovators in the field got their start on the UMass Boston campus. UMass Boston alums John Warner, Amy Cannon, Paul Anastas, Nicholas Anastas, and Buzz Cue are all green chemistry pioneers, and all five returned to their alma mater to discuss their careers.
John Warner talked about green chemistry and entropy relationships and how this concept drives his work at the Warner Babcock Institute. Buzz Cue presented his work at Pfizer to develop greener processes to produce the drug Zoloft. Nicholas Anastas and Amy Cannon focused on a variety of educational opportunities to incorporate green chemistry and toxicology concepts into the modern school curriculum and chemistry community.
Wei Zhang, director of the Center for Green Chemistry at UMass Boston, was thrilled to have UMass Boston’s distinguished alumni return to campus for this event. “This is a terrific opportunity for our students to connect with pioneers in green chemistry, and to see the impact that they can have in their own careers,” said Zhang.
Students attending the workshop presented their own work, and had the opportunity to meet and ask questions of a wide range of industry and academic leaders in the field.