Creativity in Industry Prize 2011 Winner

Dr. John Clough
John Clough 

Awarded for creative contributions to natural product chemistry and their inspiration for the invention of new agrochemicals, most notably his pioneering strobilurin work which led directly to Azoxystrobin, the world's number one fungicide.

About the Winner

John Clough is an organic chemist, and a Syngenta Fellow, Group Leader and member of the Leadership Team in Syngenta's Chemistry Department at its Jealott's Hill International Research Centre near Bracknell in Berkshire. He has a particular interest in the use of natural products as leads for the discovery of innovative chemicals for crop protection.

John joined Syngenta (then ICI Plant Protection Division) in 1979, following the completion of his PhD research at the University of Nottingham under the supervision of Professor Gerald Pattenden, FRS. Since that time, he has contributed to many fungicide and herbicide research projects, especially those aimed at the generation of new leads. 

In 1983, he initiated the strobilurin fungicide project, which he then led for more than 10 years. During this time, azoxystrobin was discovered, a product which is now the world's largest agricultural fungicide, with annual sales in excess of $1 billion.

Most of the chemists in John's current group are engaged in synthesis directed towards the discovery of new herbicides. In addition, he leads a team working on the isolation and structural elucidation of new bioactive natural products. He is responsible for several of Syngenta's collaborative projects in China, involving both organic synthesis and natural products.

John has been Chairman of the RSC Heterocyclic and Synthesis Group (2008-09), and is Syngenta's scientific representative in the RSC/Syngenta Pan Africa Chemistry Network (PACN) initiative. 

He is a Visiting Professor at the School of Chemistry of the University of Nottingham, and at the College of Chemistry of the Central China Normal University, Wuhan. He has presented his work at several international conferences, and has published more than 115 patents, papers and reviews.