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NIH Molecular Libraries and Imaging
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NIH Small Molecule Repository
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News Archive
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Top 200 Brand Name Drugs
(compiled by the Njarðarson Group at the University of Arizona)
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Email pcmd@seas.upenn.edu



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Synthetic Chemistry Core Faculty

Amos B. Smith, III, Director of the Synthesis Core
Donna Huryn, Associate Director of the Synthesis Core
Barry S. Cooperman, Core Associate
Eric Meggers, Core Associate
Ralph A. Rivero, Core Consultant

Amos B. Smith, III, Director of the Synthesis Core, received his early education at Bucknell University where he completed a combined four-year B.S.-M.S. degree in Chemistry. After a year in medical school (University of Pennsylvania), he earned his Ph.D. degree (1972) and completed a year as a Research Associate at Rockefeller University. In 1973, he joined the Department of Chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania; currently, he is the Rhodes-Thompson Professor of Chemistry and Member of the Monell Chemical Senses Center. From 1976-2000 he was also a Member of the Laboratory for Research on the Structure of Matter (LRSM). In addition, he is an Honorary Member and a Visiting Director at the Kitasato Institute (Tokyo, Japan). From 1988 to 1996 he served as Chairman of the Department of Chemistry. In 1998 he became the first Editor-in-Chief of the new American Chemical Society journal, Organic Letters. Smith's research interests encompass three diverse areas: natural products total synthesis, bioorganic/medicinal chemistry and materials science. To date more than 75 architecturally complex natural products having significant bioregulatory properties, including for example the milbemycins, FK 506, rapamycin, discodermolide, phorboxazole penitrem D, 13-deoxytedanolide, and the spongistatins, have been prepared in his Laboratory. [website]

Donna Huryn, Associate Director of the Synthesis Core, has over 18 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, most recently as Director in the Chemical & Screening Sciences Department at Wyeth Research. From 1997-2001, at Wyeth she led Medicinal Chemistry Departments consisting of up to 48 scientists, and from which five compounds advanced to Phase 0 and/or Phase I in the CNS (Depression, Alzheimer’s Disease, Schizophrenia) and Inflammation (asthma - inhaled and oral) therapeutic areas. She was a key member of Wyeth’s New Way of Working” Exploratory and Library Enhancement Sub-Team which re-engineered Wyeth Discovery Research. From 2002-2004, she led a department of approximately 40 scientists of diverse skills in the Chemical Sciences Interface Department at Princeton, NJ and Pearl River, NY sites with responsibility of insuring a seamless transition between Discovery and Development Functions. This department consisted of the Discovery Synthetic Chemistry Group, the Pharmaceutical Profiling Group and the Physico-chemical Characterization Group. She developed the department to sustain and support the delivery of 12 compounds into Development each year for three consecutive years, compared to an average of 3 compounds/year previously. She also had responsibility for external managing two external partnerships.

Barry S. Cooperman, Core Associate, received his BA in chemistry at Columbia University in 1962 and his PhD in Chemistry at Harvard University in 1968. After a postdoctoral year at the Pasteur Institute in Paris, he joined the Department of Chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania in 1968, and was promoted to Professor in 1977. He has served as Vice-Provost for Research at the University of Pennsylvania (1982 – 1995), and as a member of the Board of Managers of the Wistar Institute (1987 – 2001), for which he chaired the Scientific Advisory Committee (1993 – 2000). Since 1982 he has been a board member of Associated Universities, Inc., which he chaired from 1989 – 1991, and currently serves as a member of the International Scientific Advisory Board, Max-Planck-Institut für molekulare Genetik, Berlin. Cooperman’s work has centered on the determination of mechanisms of biological macromolecular function and their modulation, using approaches ranging from chemical synthesis and site-specific mutagenesis to rapid kinetics, fluorescence and NMR spectroscopy, and kinetic and molecular modeling. These approaches have been applied to the study of ribosomes, chemical and biological phosphoryl transfer, ribonucleotide reductase (RR), and serpins and serine proteinases. With respect to RR, which is of particular relevance to this proposal, he has focused on subunit:subunit interaction and its role in allosteric regulation, and on the development of novel and specific inhibitors that target quaternary structure. [website]

Eric Meggers, Core Associate, received his undergraduate education in Germany at the University of Bonn where he obtained a Diploma in Chemistry in 1995 with highest honors. Thereafter, he moved to Basel (Switzerland) where he, in 1999, obtained a Ph.D. in Bioorganic Chemistry with summa cum laude under the supervision of Prof. Bernd Giese. He then joined the group of Prof. Peter Schultz at The Scripps Research Institute as a postdoctoral fellow. Since 2002, Eric Meggers is Assistant Professor in the Chemistry Department at the University of Pennsylvania. In 2002 he received the Camille and Henry Dreyfus New Faculty Award. Eric Meggers’ research interest revolve around the development of novel chemical tools for controlling biological processes. His group recently pioneered the design of high-affinity enzyme inhibitors based on kinetically inert metal-containing structural platforms. These compounds have already been shown to be able to selectively modify signaling pathways inside of living cells. [website]

Ralph A. Rivero, Core Consultant, has over 16 years of medicinal chemistry experience in the pharmaceutical industry. After receiving his Ph.D. working with Professor Amos B. Smith, III at the University of Pennsylvania in the fall of 1987, he joined Merck Research Labs in Rahway, NJ where he worked for eight years. While at Merck his research focused on the design and synthesis of G-protein coupled receptor ligands, aspartic acid protease inhibitors, kinase inhibitors, and the application of high throughput synthesis technologies to medicinal chemistry programs. In late 1995, he joined Johnson & Johnson as the Team Leader of High Throughput Chemistry and he played a key role in establishing an integrated high throughput screening and high throughput chemistry strategy. While at Johnson & Johnson his group published numerous manuscripts on the use of parallel synthesis for lead generation and optimization. In late 1998, he joined GSK (formally SKB) as the Director of High Throughput Chemistry. At GSK he currently directs a group of 24 scientists responsible for delivering high quality leads to the drug discovery organization and enhancing the corporate compound collection by combining structure based design, target-class information, informatics and parallel synthesis platform technologies.


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