Liverpool ChiroChem CEO awarded Potts Medal

Dr Paul Colbon, CEO and co-founder of the chemical technology company, Liverpool Chirochem Ltd (LCC), is the recipient of this year’s Potts Medal.

Established in 1933, the Potts Medal recognises outstanding contributions to Chemistry with the winner chosen by members of the University’s student Chemistry society, ChemSoc.

Paul was presented with his medal at a special ceremony and lecture held at the Guild of Students and attended by staff and students from the Department of Chemistry and School of Physical Sciences alongside Paul’s family, friends and colleagues.

Paul graduated from the University with an MChem (which included a year in industry with AstraZeneca) in 2008 and completed his PhD as part of the Xiao group in 2013.

Paul went on to co-found Liverpool ChiroChem Ltd (LCC) in 2014 with Professor Jianliang Xiao, Dr Jianjun Wu and Dr Jiwu Ruan.

Paul and Professor Xiao

LCC is an international chemical technology business which supplies specialist building blocks for pharmaceutical research and biotechnology and draws upon synthetic methods in asymmetric catalysis, first developed and patented by the University.

The company focuses on the production and supply of chiral piperidines, compounds which greatly enhance drug discovery and development.

The technology licenced by the University has allowed the company to develop a unique line of products using a simple, low cost and environmentally friendly process.

Paul maintains strong links with the University through R&D collaborations in addition to providing student placements at LCC, supporting projects and delivering talks to students.

Paul and Chemsoc members

On receiving his award, Paul said: “It was very special to receive the Potts Medal, as it gave me an opportunity to thank the hundreds of people that have supported me in my career and the development of LCC into a global company. It also gave me the chance to share my entrepreneurial learnings with students and academics at the University of Liverpool.

“I keep in close contact with the chemistry department, and I know the world-leading research they’re undertaking in digitisation and automation of chemistry will have a wide-reaching impact on drug discovery, materials science and the green economy.”

The Potts medal is named after University of Liverpool chemist Harold Edwin Potts and was reinstated in 2014 thanks to a generous, anonymous alumni donation.

Paul with family, friends, colleagues and students