American chemist Richard Heck has died in Manila at the age of 84.
Heck has lived in the Philippines and had been married to a Filipina woman, who died in 2012.
Heck won the 2010 Nobel Prize for chemistry with Japanese Ei-ichi Negishi and Akira Suzuki for inventing new ways to bind carbon atoms that were used in research to fight cancer and produce thin computer screens.
The American was affiliated with the University of Delaware where he developed his work on a palladium as a catalyst, called the “Heck reaction” in the 1960s and 1970s. The two Japanese scientists created their own variants of the same process in the late 1970s.
Heck died after a lengthy illness that left him near penniless. He retired in the Philippines in 2006 with his wife, Socorro Nardo-Heck.
Family members said Heck was often depressed after the death of his wife and had been in and out of hospital since 2013.
Heck suffered a serious bout of pneumonia, prostate cancer, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and slight dementia in the past years.
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