Chemistry Alum wins 2003 ACS Award in Industrial Chemistry

January 17, 2003 — Dr. Bruce Maryanoff (Ph.D. Drexel University 1972, Chemistry Department Alumni Award 1994) was recently named as the 2003 recipient of the prestigious American Chemical Society Award in Industrial Chemistry. Bruce will receive the award at the 225th National Meeting of the ACS in New Orleans on March 25, 2003. The citation on the plaque will read: “For his outstanding contributions to organic and medicinal chemistry, and for leadership in the discovery and development of TOPAMAX topiramate, a pharmaceutical product for the treatment of epilepsy and other CNS disorders.”

Dr. Bruce E. Maryanoff, a native Philadelphian, earned a B.S. degree in chemistry from Drexel University (1969) and continued at Drexel to earn his Ph.D. degree in organic chemistry (1972) working with Prof. Robert O. Hutchins. In 1995 he and his wife Cyndie established the Bruce & Cynthia Maryanoff Endowed Scholarship Prize in the Chemistry Department. The prize is awarded annually to an outstanding undergraduate chemistry major performing undergraduate research. After a post-doctoral stint at Princeton University, Dr. Maryanoff joined McNeil Laboratories, a Johnson & Johnson (J&J) Company in 1974 and advanced to his present position of Distinguished Research Fellow, the highest scientific-ladder position in Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development. His drug discovery efforts have focused on therapeutic agents for the treatment of disorders of the cardiovascular system, agents for treating disorders of the central nervous system (antidepressants, antiepileptics, anxiolytics, and antipsychotics), anti-cancer agents, antidiabetic agents, antiviral agents, antithrombotic and anti-inflammatory agents.

Dr. Maryanoff discovered TOPAMAX® (topiramate), a unique, sugar sulfamate drug that is marketed worldwide for the treatment of epilepsy. Additionally, he has pursued drug discovery efforts for a number of drugs currently in Phase 1, 2 or 3 clinical trials. He has authored nearly 200 scientific publications, many of which appear in top-rank journals, and has presented over 110 invited lectures at universities and scientific conferences. He is an inventor of 34 issued US patents ant 23 pending applications. Dr. Maryanoff is a member of many scientific societies, and has held office in several of them. He has served on the editorial advisory boards of various organic and medicinal chemistry journals, edited a monograph series in medicinal chemistry, and served as a member of the NIH Medicinal Chemistry Study Section.

Dr. Maryanoff has received numerous awards and honors: the J&J's prestigious Philip B. Hofmann Research Scientist Award (twice - 1978, 1987); the Johnson Medal for Research and Development (1997), the highest award at J&J, for his contributions to the discovery and development of topiramate; two RWJPRI Discovery Awards, a J&J Excellence in Science Award (1994), a J&J Achievement Award for TOPAMAX® (1996), and an RWJPRI Achievement Award for RWJ-53308 (1999). In 1984, he received the prestigious Philadelphia Section Award of the American Chemical Society (ACS). He has also received the Drexel University Distinguished Chemistry Alumni Award (1994), the Philadelphia Organic Chemists' Club Award (1995) and the Drexel University Distinguished Alumni Award for Service to the Profession (1999). In 2000, he was an ACS National Hero of Chemistry and this coming Spring will receive the 2003 ACS National Award in Industrial Chemistry.

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