Bruce D. Roth is an American chemist who invented atorvastatin, better known as Lipitor, which has become the largest-selling drug in pharmaceutical history.
Roth received his bachelorâ€™s degree from St. Josephâ€™s College, Philadelphia, in 1976. He then went to Iowa State University as a doctoral student under George Kraus. After receiving his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Iowa State University in 1981, he spent a year as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Rochester, then joined Parke-Davis of Warner-Lambert Company as a Medicinal Chemist in 1982. He was promoted to Senior Scientist in 1984, Research Associate in 1986, Senior Research Associate in 1988, Section Director in 1990, Director of Atherosclerosis and Exploratory Chemistry in 1992, and Senior Director of Atherosclerosis, Inflammation and Exploratory Chemistry in 1993. He was appointed Vice President of Chemistry just prior to the merger between Warner-Lambert and Pfizer in 2000 and remained in that role as a part of Pfizer Global Research and Development in Ann Arbor, Michigan until 2007 when he joined Genentech in San Francisco, California as Senior Director of Discovery Chemistry.
Roth first synthesized atorvastatin in 1985. For the discovery, he received the 1997 Warner-Lambert Chairman's Distinguished Scientific Achievement Award, the 1999 Inventor of the Year Award from the New York Intellectual Property Law Association, the 2003 American Chemical Society Award for Creative Invention, the 2003 Gustavus John Esselen Award for Chemistry in the Public Service, the 2005 Iowa State University Distinguished Alumni Award, and the 2006 Pfizer Global Research and Development Achievement Award.