WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue University chemist Ei-ichi Negishi, whose work in creating a method to build complex organic molecules necessary for numerous purposes led to a Nobel Prize in Chemistry, died Sunday in Indianapolis at the age of 85.
“The world lost a great and gracious man — one who made a difference in lives as a scientist and a human being,” Purdue President Mitch Daniels said. “We’re saddened by Dr. Negishi’s passing but grateful for his world-changing discoveries and the lives he touched and influenced as a Purdue professor.”
In October 2010, Negishi became Purdue’s second Nobel winner. Herbert C. Brown was the first in 1979. Negishi had studied under Brown and, appropriately, was the Herbert C. Brown Distinguished Professor of Chemistry when he won the Nobel honor.
Negishi came to Purdue to work as a postdoctoral researcher under Brown. He stayed until 1972 when he went to Syracuse University as an assistant and then associate professor. He returned to Purdue in 1979. Twenty years later, he was named the Herbert C. Brown Distinguished Professor of Chemistry. He retired in 2019.
His family said he will be laid to rest in Japan sometime next year.