Suzuki, Akira, 1930–, Japanese chemist, Ph.D. Hokkaido Univ., Sapporo, 1959. He was a professor at Hokkaido from 1963 until his retirement in 1994. Since then, he has taught for short periods at Okayama Univ. of Science and Kurashiki Univ. of Science and the Arts. Suzuki was the recipient, with Richard Heck and Ei-ichi Negishi for their research during the 1960s and 70s on palladium-catalyzed coupling reactions in organic synthesis. Their work, carried out independently, laid the foundation for the synthesis of chemicals for uses in such areas as pharmaceuticals, agricultural products, and advanced technological materials. Palladium-catalyzed cross coupling also led to breakthroughs in DNA sequencing. Suzuki made improvements in 1979 to Negishi's method, which had been published in 1977 and built on Heck's work.