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" Building an Innovative Culture: Discovery of Modern Crop Protection Chemicals"

Dr. George Lahm

Date: May 15, 2018

Time: 5 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Location: DuPont Country Club

Fee: None

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The discovery, development and commercialization of modern crop protection chemicals involves a complex matrix of study spanning diverse fields of science and engineering. The industry is driven through innovation owing to a continuing need to discover and develop new products that preferentially act through new biochemical mechanisms. The standards are necessarily high to meet societal and regulatory demands of efficacy and safety to people and the environment. This requires an integrated process that begins with identification of molecular starting points and proceeds through the optimization of all properties associated with efficacy and safety. This presentation will describe this process and the associated challenges required to successfully bring the product from idea conception through to commercialization. Recent commercial successes including Rynaxypyr® and Cyazypyr® will be used to demonstrate some of the problems encountered, lessons learned, and solutions achieved.


George P. Lahm, FMC Distinguished Scientist, obtained his B.S. in chemistry from the State University of New York, Oswego in 1976 and his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Indiana University under Professor Richard M. Jacobson. In 1980, he joined DuPont as part of the Crop Protection Discovery group and in 2017 he moved to FMC Agrictural Solutions. His thirty-sevenyear career has focused principally on the discovery and development of new products for insect control. 

Dr. Lahm’s research in new products for insect control set the stage for the discovery of the novel sodium channel blocker, indoxacarb, the new ryanodine receptor activators chlorantranilprole and cyantraniliprole and the new nematicide fluazaindolizine. These products represent landmarks for the protection of food crops, demonstrate outstanding field efficacy, environmental compatibility, and low toxicity to non-target organisms. 

Dr. Lahm has a patent record of over 60 U.S. and internationally filed patents. He was a recipient of the 2003 ACS Team Innovation Award for the discovery of indoxacarb and the 2009 recipient of the ACS Spencer Award for outstanding achievement in agricultural and food chemistry. He was a recipient of DuPont honors including the 2004 Pedersen Medal for scientific achievement and three BoltonCarothers corporate team awards. In 2010, he was awarded the Lavoisier medal, DuPont’s highest technical award for lifetime contributions, and in the same year he was appointed to DuPont’s highest technical level, DuPont Distinguished Scientist. In 2011, he received the American Chemical Society’s International Award for Research in Agrochemicals and in 2018 he was the recipient of the ACS Award for Industrial Chemistry. 

George and his wife Louise have two children and two grandchildren and reside in Delaware.