Mike Lynch Award 2022: Greg Landrum

Friday, May 13th, 2 pm CET, 1 pm BST

Greg Landrum

The Trustees of the CSA Trust are pleased to announce that Greg Landrum has been awarded the 2022 Mike Lynch Award, in recognition of his work on the development of RDKit and his fostering of the community around it, a transformative software resource for cheminformatics and machine learning.

Jonathan Goodman, chair of the CSA Trust, comments: “I am delighted that Greg Landrum has accepted this award. His work on RDKit has made chemical informatics techniques more accessible to scientists worldwide both in industry and academia. When introducing students to cheminformatics, becoming familiar with RDKit is a key part of the learning process, and makes it possible to explore new ideas in chemical information rapidly and reliably.”

Greg Landrum said: “I am really honored to have been selected for this award; it’s especially meaningful to me because of the foundational importance of Mike Lynch and the “Sheffield school” to our field. I would particularly like to thank the Trust for recognizing the importance of the RDKit community.”

Greg Landrum will be presented with the award at the 12th International Conference on Chemical Structures, where he will give a keynote address.


Greg Landrum is a senior scientist in Sereina Riniker’s group at the ETH Zurich, Founder and Managing Director of T5 Informatics GmbH, a Senior Advisor to Knime, and the primary developer for the RDKit.




The CSA Trust is an internationally recognized, registered charity that promotes education, research, and development in fields related to chemical structures and cheminformatics.

The Mike Lynch Award recognizes and encourages outstanding accomplishments in education, research, and development activities that are related to the systems and methods used to store, process, and retrieve information about chemical structures, reactions, and properties.

Mike Lynch is the Professor Emeritus in the Information School of the University of Sheffield, England, and is an acknowledged cheminformatics pioneer. https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/is/people/emeritus-honorary-visiting/michael-lynch

The 12th International Conference on Chemical Structures takes place at Noordwijkerhout, June 12th – June 16th 2022.

Mike Lynch Award 2018: Dr. Rudy Potenzone

Rudy Potenzone

April 11, 2018: The Chemical Structure Association Trust (CSA Trust) is pleased to announce that it will present the triennial Mike Lynch Award to Dr. Rudy Potenzone. The purpose of the Award is to recognize and encourage outstanding accomplishments in education, research and development activities that are related to the systems and methods used to store, process and retrieve information about chemical structures, reactions and properties, and the award is named after Professor Mike Lynch, who was a pioneer in cheminformatics and the Honorary President of the Chemical Structure Association.

Rudy Potenzone is a seasoned veteran in molecular modeling, cheminformatics, and bioinformatics, and as well as being an expert practitioner of the art, he has led teams to deliver cutting-edge software products for researchers and scientists for over 25 years. He thus fully embodies the characteristics required of a recipient of the Mike Lynch Award.

Rudy’s career in informatics started at American Cyanamid, where he led a team to support 500 users of the Chemical Group Research Division. He moved to Polygen/Molecular Simulations (now part of BIOVIA) and managed a team that developed the QUANTA and CHARMm molecular modeling systems.

Rudy then moved to cheminformatics, chemical literature, and information retrieval, and as Director of the Research and New Product Development Department at Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) played a key role in planning and developing the SciFinder product which opened up the world of published chemical information and literature directly to chemists via its intuitive graphical user interface. After CAS, Rudy focused on systems to manage internally generated information, and at Molecular Design Ltd. (MDL – now part of BIOVIA) he oversaw the development of the Isentris system to replace ISIS, as well as Assay Explorer for managing screening information, and DiscoveryGate for unified access to published data. From MDL, he moved to LION Biosciences as CEO of US Operations, working on the strategic plan for the company’s innovative integrated information platform.

From LION, Rudy moved on to bioinformatics, and at Ingenuity Systems (now part of Qiagen), he developed the roadmap for a comprehensive, human-curated biological pathway knowledgebase and associated tools. Rudy then moved back to internal chemical information management at CambridgeSoft (now part of PerkinElmer) where he managed teams working on electronic lab notebooks, and eventually oversaw the full cheminformatics product portfolio of PerkinElmer Informatics. From PerkinElmer, Rudy moved to Microsoft and exploited his extensive customer and product experience to direct Microsoft’s efforts as worldwide industry strategist for the pharmaceutical industry, including products such as SQL Server, FAST, Office, Azure, HPC, and CRM.

Rudy is currently VP of Marketing for the TranSMART Foundation, which is an emerging global, open source, public/private partnership community that is developing a comprehensive, informatics-based analysis and data-sharing cloud platform for clinical and translational research.

Rudy’s career and contributions have spanned the whole gamut of informatics disciplines that impact the biopharma industry; and they have also kept pace with and anticipated the evolution of informatics tools from individual, chemistry-focused, point applications to today’s open source, cloud-based, bench-to-bedside informatics platforms.

The CSA Trust is pleased to recognize and honor Rudy’s substantial contributions to cheminformatics with the Mike Lynch Award, which will be presented at the 11th International Conference on Chemical Structures (http://www.int-conf-chem-structures.org/) to be held in the Netherlands in May 2018.

About the CSA Trust
The CSA Trust (www.csa-trust.org) is an internationally-recognized, registered charity which promotes education, research and development in the field of storage, processing and retrieval of information about chemical structures, reactions and compounds.

Phil McHale, CSA Trust Awards Committee

Mike Lynch Award 2014: InChI Team

This news article was reprinted using content and images from 2014 issues of the CSA Trust Newsletter (Issue 23, page 2, and Issue 24, page 18).

The Chemical Structures Association Trust is pleased to announce that the 2014 Michael Lynch Award is being presented to the “InChI Team” – Steve Heller, Alan McNaught, Igor Pletnev, Steve Stein and Dmitrii Tchekhovskoi – in recognition of their outstanding accomplishments in the conception and development of the IUPAC International Chemical Identifier, InChI.

Initial discussions on the need for a public domain structure representation standard involving Steve Heller and Steve Stein were held in the National Institute of Standards and Technology in 1999 and in 2000 Alan McNaught of IUPAC became involved, and it was decided that InChI would be an IUPAC initiative to meet the needs of the chemical and related communities. InChI was originally known as the IUPAC Chemical Identifier in 2001, and the objective was to establish a unique label, which would be a non-proprietary identifier for chemical substances that could be used in printed and electronic data sources thus enabling easier linking of diverse data compilations. This was achieved by developing a set of algorithms for the standard representation of chemical structures that is now readily accessible to chemists in all countries at no cost. The development and associated programming work on version 1 of InChI in 2005 was predominantly carried out by Dmitrii Tchekhovskoi, and in 2008 a shorter hash key version of InChI, known as InChIKey was developed by Igor Pletnev. Subsequent developments since then and ongoing, will be described in the plenary lecture.

Top left: Steve Heller, Top middle: Alan McNaught, Top right: Igor Pletnev, Bottom left: Steve Stein, Bottom middle: Dmitrii Tchekhovskoi, Bottom right: Steve Heller and Wendy Warr (Credit: Phil McHale).

The Award ceremonies took place during the 10th International Conference on Chemical Structures held in Nordwijkerhout, in The Netherlands, 1-5 June 2014

Mike Lynch Award 2011: Engelbert Zass

Elgelbert Zass

This news article was reprinted using content and images from 2012 issues of the CSA Trust Newsletter (Issue 19, page 1, 12-17).

Dr. Engelbert Zass is head of the Chemistry Biology Pharmacy Information Center of ETH Zurich. An organic chemist by training, he specialized in chemical information after receiving his Ph.D. in 1977, and collected more than 30 years experience in searching, operating and designing chemistry databases, as well as in support, training and education of users of chemical information. He has given numerous lectures and courses in Europe and the U.S., is author of more than 60 papers on chemical information and served on several advisory boards. From 1999 till 2004, he was partner in the BMBF Project “Vernetztes Studium – Chemie”, where he was engaged in the design of multimedia educational material for chemical information. Present activities include organization of information services and user support as well as teaching chemical information courses at ETH Zurich and the University of Berne. He has been selected to receive in 2011 the CSA Trust Mike Lynch Award for his lifetime work in education, research and development activities that facilitate the storage, processing and retrieval of chemical information.

Read “Corner of a magic triangle,” Martin Brändle’s interview of Engelbert Zass after Bert received the Mike Lynch Award (CSA Trust Newsletter, Issue 19, page 12-17).

Mike Lynch Award 2008: Alexander (Sandy) Lawson

Sandy Lawson received the Mike Lynch award at the Noordwijkerhout meeting in June, 2008.

This news article was reprinted using content and images from 2008 issues of the CSA Trust Newsletter (Issue 17, page 2, and Issue 18, page 1).

Professor Dr Alexander (Sandy) Lawson graduated from St Andrews University, Scotland, in 1966 with a first class honours degree in Chemistry. He went on to study at Imperial College, London, where he was awarded a PhD and DIC in 1970. He held a number of positions including research fellowships at the Universities of Kent and Mainz, directorships at the Beilstein Institute from 1982 to 1994, and subsequently directorships at MDL. He is currently Director of Research and Development at Elsevier Information Systems GmbH. Sandy has made major contributions to the fields of chemical information handling and chemical structure representation, in particular in the development of the Beilstein database and software (including the famous Lawson Number for indexing chemical structures).

Read Sandy’s article “Chemical Structure Databases: at the Crossroads of Description and Design” that was published in the CSA Trust Newsletter, Issue 17, page 3.

Mike Lynch Award 2005: Johann (Johnny) Gasteiger

Johann Gasteiger

This news article was reprinted using content and images from 2005 issues of the CSA Trust Newsletter (Issue 9, page 2, and Issue 10, page 1, 4). His picture shown above is from Wikipedia.

Professor Dr Johann Gasteiger will be honoured with the 2005 CSA Trust Mike Lynch Award. The CSA Trust acknowledges Professor Gasteiger’s outstanding accomplishments in the field of computational chemistry and structure elucidation. The award will be presented at the 7th International Conference on Chemical Structures in Noordwijkerhout, the Netherlands, in June 2005.

Professor Dr Gasteiger was born in 1941 in southern Germany and studied chemistry at the universities of Munich and Zurich.  In 1971, he achieved his PhD. After a postdoc stay at University of California, Berkeley in 1971/72, he returned to Munich where he became Professor in 1988. At the University of Erlangen–Nürnberg he founded the ‘Computer-Chemie-Centrum in 1994.  Professor Gasteiger is a member of the ACS, CSA Trust, MGMS, the German Chemical Society and of several editorial boards.

The keynote address on the Sunday evening was given by Johnny Gasteiger, who was presented with the 2005 CSA Trust Mike Lynch award by Guenter Grethe. The title of Johnny’s talk was ‘My Love Affair with Molecules – and Reactions’. Although the international language of chemistry is the two-dimensional structure diagram, Johnny com- pares molecules to human beings, and he treasures the fact that they are three-dimensional species which have skin, left and right hands and can change shape. The keynote address covered computational approaches to the generation of 3D molecular models, the calculation of molecular surface properties, the generation of multiple conformations and the identification of molecular chirality. The address concluded with a description of some of the computer methods for modelling chemical reactions. The full talk given by Johnny Gasteiger is at http://www2.chemie.uni-erlangen.de/presentations/. Following the keynote address, delegates were treated to a reception, courtesy of Elsevier MDL and a splendid rijsttafel sponsored by CAS.

Left to right: CSA Trustees Peter Willett, Johnny Gasteiger, Guenter Grethe and Peter Nichols enjoying a refreshing trip on the IJsselmeer in the Netherlands