V.N. Mallikarjuna Rao, 58, has been named a distinguished scientist by E.I. DuPont de Nemours and Co., Wilmington, Del. In receiving the company's highest scientific title last month, Rao joins only two other DuPont researchers so honored: Howard W. Jacobson, an expert in fine particle synthesis and coating, and agricultural chemist Vincent G. Witterholt.

The promotion recognizes an individual's scientific contributions to more than one business sector, according to company statements. Rao's more than 50 patents in such areas of chemistry as formaldehyde, methyl isocyanate, tetrahydrofuran, and butanediol have advanced DuPont technologies in polymers, agrichemicals, and fluorochemicals. His work in the development of chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) alternatives was particularly noted. CFCs have been implicated in the destruction of the Earth's protective ozone layer.

Rao also is recognized by his colleagues as a proponent at DuPont of staff diversity in the research environment, according to the company. Supporting diversity is a critical...

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