Issue Date: March 12, 2007
Chemist Helps Fund New Research Center
In 1989, Ryszard Andruszkiewicz, then a postdoc in chemistry professor Richard B. Silverman's lab at Northwestern University, synthesized a compound called pregabalin (shown). The compound is now the active ingredient in Pfizer's blockbuster drug Lyrica, which is used to treat nerve pain and epilepsy. Last year, Lyrica earned more than $1 billion in revenue for Pfizer. Now, Silverman says he will donate a portion of the royalties he receives from sales of the drug to help fund the construction of a new research facility on Northwestern's Evanston, Ill., campus. The building, to be named the Richard & Barbara Silverman Hall for Molecular Therapeutics & Diagnostics, will house 16 research groups in chemistry, biology, and engineering. The total cost of the facility, to be completed in 2009, is expected to be about $100 million. Silverman's contribution to that amount has not been disclosed. "Since day one, when I came here, I've felt that Northwestern has been an ideal place to work," Silverman says in a statement. "Now, having this windfall, I wanted to share it with the university to express my gratitude."
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