Keary Engle, PhD
Keary Engle, PhD. Credit: Scripps Research

For his contributions to chemistry and the chemical industries, Keary Engle, PhD, a professor in the Department of Chemistry, has been awarded the 2024 Mitsui Chemicals Catalysis Science Award for Creative Work.

The award, established in 2004 by Japanese chemical producer Mitsui Chemicals, is part of the Mitsui Chemicals Catalysis Science Awards, honoring scientists who have made contributions to the sustainable development of chemistry and to the chemical industry. The awards include the Catalysis Science Award and the Catalysis Science Award for Creative Work, both of which recognize outstanding achievement in the field of catalysis science.

Winners are selected by a committee made up of top experts in catalysis science. To date, 30 researchers from Japan and overseas have been honored with an award.

Engle will receive a plaque and $6,400 prize as part of the award.

Engle’s lab focuses on accelerating the synthesis of organic molecules that are used in medicines, biological probes, agrochemicals, and materials building blocks. Many of these molecules are difficult to prepare, requiring several steps to create, costing a substantial amount of time and effort, and generating large quantities of waste. Engle’s lab is developing catalysts that enable efficient, effective and sustainable methods of chemical synthesis to better produce small molecules. Catalysts developed in the Engle lab have been rapidly adopted in academic and industrial labs around the world.

Prior to joining Scripps Research as an assistant professor in 2015, Engle was an NIH Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the California Institute of Technology. He is also a recipient of the 2021 NSF CAREER Awardm, 2021 Amgen Young Investigator Award, 2020 Eli Lilly Organic Chemistry Award, and 2018 Bristol-Myers Squibb Unrestricted Grant, among many other honors.

He received his doctorate degree at Scripps Research and his bachelor’s degree in Chemistry, Economics, Mathematics, and Statistics at University of Michigan.