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Ei-ichi Negishi (1935–2021), top scientist revolutionized drug-making, made OLED TVs possible

by Linnea Crowther

Dr. Ei-ichi Negishi was a scientist who won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work, which paved the way for new medicines and OLED televisions.

“Great art in a test tube”

Negishi shared the 2010 Nobel Prize in Chemistry with two other scientists, all of whom worked to create new organic molecules by linking carbon atoms in a technique known as palladium-catalyzed cross coupling. Negishi spent decades working on the technology, which has been used to make drugs including naproxen. It is also key to the OLED technology that has improved television and computer screens. The Nobel committee called his work “great art in a test tube.” A native of China who was raised in Japan, Negishi studied in the U.S. and spent many years teaching at Purdue University.

Notable quote

“I, myself, believe that my mission is probably halfway through. But, I don’t think that I have the time for the other half.” —from a 2010 interview for NobelPrize.org

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Tributes to Ei-ichi Negishi

Full obituary: The Washington Post

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