Retiree Spotlight

Meet Berkeley "Buzz" Cue

Green chemistry is defined as a chemical philosophy encouraging the design of products and processes that reduce or eliminate the use and generation of hazardous substances. To Berkeley “Buzz” Cue, it’s a major part of his life.

Berkeley W. Cue, Jr., Ph.D. or Buzz as most people call him, began his 28+ year career with Pfizer in 1975 in the Animal Health Organic Chemistry Department. He transferred to the Process R&D Department of Developmental Research in 1979. He became head of the PR&D Department in Pfizer’s Groton, CT, R&D Center in 1988, assumed responsibility for Analytical and Bio Process R&D as well in 1993 and U.S. Developmental Research in 1998. He chaired the Cardiovascular & Metabolic Diseases Early Development Management Team from 1998-1999 and co-chaired the division’s Performance Management Task Force from 1992-1993. He was Groton Labs executive sponsor for the Women Leaders Network from 2002-2004 and a member of the Worldwide Pharmaceutical Sciences Executive team and Groton Leadership Team from 2000 until he retired.

His list of accolades and accomplishments is expansive. Among them, Buzz created and led Pfizer’s Green Chemistry initiative – an award-winning program in which the company is viewed as an industry leader.

In 2003 Buzz received the Pfizer Groton Labs Green Chemistry Award and in 2005, was presented the Seldon Award by the University of Massachusetts-Lowell for his contributions to green chemistry. That year he also received an award from the Green Chemistry Institute for his leadership of Pfizer’s green chemistry efforts that have become a model for other pharmaceutical companies. In 2006 he was recognized by the U.S. EPA for his “tireless efforts to encourage pharmaceutical companies to implement green chemistry.”

“I’ve been speaking extensively on this topic since 2000,” noted Buzz. “My mission is to continue to advance green chemistry in the pharmaceutical industry which is one of the primary reasons why I continue to present and educate on the topic,” he said. Buzz added, “The most enjoyable part of green chemistry is meeting and working with students. They are our future.”

Buzz testified before the House of Representatives Science Committee in support of the 2004 Federal Green Chemistry Act (HB 3970). That year he was appointed to the National Academies of Science Committee on Grand Challenges for Sustainability in the Chemical Industry. Buzz currently occupies seats on the Scientific Advisory Boards of a variety of companies and academic institutions.

“It’s about applying Green Chemistry principles at the onset of the production design phase and producing cost-effective products that are environmentally safe. When that happens, it serves the best interests of the industry, science, economics and the environment,” he notes. Buzz says we are making some progress but “we’re just scratching the surface -- there’s much more work to do.”

Buzz continues to consult with several technology companies who serve the pharmaceutical industry to create innovative solutions for pharmaceutical science and manufacturing challenges.

Buzz received a BA with honors from the University of Massachusetts-Boston in 1969, his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the University of Alabama, and completed Postdoctoral Research at the Ohio State University and National Cancer Institute Research Fellow from the University of Minnesota.

In his spare time, Buzz enjoys traveling with his wife of 38 years, Louise, especially to major league baseball parks. They have visited 20 so far. Once in a while their son and daughter join them to make it a family event.

He also enjoys playing golf, especially in the “Cue Cup” tournament: organized by his colleagues in Developmental Research more than a decade ago to demonstrate the Pfizer values of team work and community. This tournament has raised more than $50,000 for local charities since it began. An annual pilgrimage to northern Minnesota to fish for walleyes, bass and northern pike with his friend and mentor Steve Buchholz also is a must do for Buzz.

For more information about Pfizer’s Green Chemistry efforts, visit

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