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Leo Sternbach, Ph.D.

Leo Sternbach was born in what is now Croatia. He earned his M. Pharmacy and Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the Jagiellonian University of Karkow, Poland, in 1931. Sternbach was a Research Fellow in the laboratory of Nobel Prize winner Lavoslav (Leopold) Ruzicka at the ETH in Zurich for several years. He was employed by Hoffmann-LaRoche from 1940 until he retired in 1973. He is best known for the discovery of chlordiazepoxide (Librium) and diazepam (Valium).

Sternbach held over 240 patents. He was the 1978 winner of the ACS Division of Medicinal Chemistry Award. In 1979 he won the Chemical Pioneer Award from the American Institute of Chemists. He is also a member of the New Jersey Inventors Hall of Fame and the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

ACS Division of Medicinal Chemistry

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