The 2010 Nobel Prize in Chemistry is shared by Richard F. Heck, Univ. Deleware; Ei-ichi Negishi, Purdue Univ.; and Akira Suzuki, Hokkaido University, for their developments of palladium-catalyzed cross coupling, including refining the method and reagents used for synthesizing complex molecules. As noted on the Nobel Prize site, "the Heck reaction, Negishi reaction and Suzuki reaction are of considerable importance to chemists." Among the many applications of their work, their methods have led to the efficient synthesis of compounds used to treat cancer and other disease, to protect agricultural crops from fungi, to create new materials that benefit computer technology, and to advance research through the synthesis of naturally occurring molecules in test tubes.
A search of the phrase "Palladium-Catalyzed Cross Coupling" resulted in 1,406 references in ISI Web of Knowledge, in an amazing array of subject disciplines - characterized as agriculture, allergy, immunology, genetics, ophthalmology, endocrinology, electrochemistry, materials sciences, and so much more (the refine by subject areas is such a useful option in ISI WoK!). For a good overview of the chemistry, see Palladium in Organic Synthesis, available to OhioLINK users at SpringerLink.com as part of the Topics in Organometallic Chemistry series.