Dr. Leo H. Sternbach — The Inventor’s Inventor


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Eminent scientist Leo H. Sternbach, Ph.D., is being inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame nearly 42 years after his landmark invention Valium was approved by the FDA.
PharmaVOICE is taking this opportunity to honor Dr. Sternbach, 97, for his extraordinary achievements. We would like to thank Roche, Dr. Sternbach’s son, Daniel Sternbach, Ph.D., and Dr. Sternbach’s friends and former colleagues, Jeff Tilley, Ph.D., and Milan Uskokovic, Ph.D., for making this article possible.
What began as a boyhood fascination with chemicals and fireworks became a prolific and acclaimed career, highlighted by the invention of Valium. But for Leo H. Sternbach, Ph.D., it was all about a love of chemistry and making a difference in people’s lives.
“It has brought me great comfort to know that I could, in some way, help people feel better,” Dr. Sternbach says. “Being a chemist, I spent most of my life working in a laboratory, hoping that I could make a difference. Knowing that Valium has positively impacted the lives of millions of people all over the world, and that my research has paved the way for other such discoveries, is one of the most rewarding experiences of my life…

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