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Pharmaceuticals

Alfred Burger Award In Medicinal Chemistry: Richard D. DiMarchi

by Linda Wang
January 4, 2016 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 94, ISSUE 1

Sponsor: Gilead Sciences

Citation: For the discovery of Humalog and the development of Forteo and ­rGlucagon. He pioneered the field of chemical biotechnology and mixed peptide agonists for the treatment of metabolic diseases.

Current position: Standiford H. Cox Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, and Linda & Jack Gill Chair in Biomolecular Sciences, Indiana ­University

Education: B.S., chemistry, Florida Atlantic University; Ph.D., biochemistry, Indiana University

DiMarchi on his biggest research challenge:“The overwhelming perspective that macromolecules were not ‘real’ drugs, largely because they were not oral and did not fit the perspective of more senior chemists trained in classical small-molecule medicinal chemistry.”

What his colleagues say:“Richard is readily recognized for the discovery of ­Humalog, the first human insulin analog approved for human use that was made using recombinant DNA. He subsequently contributed to the development of glucagon for low blood sugar and Forteo for osteoporosis, meeting the needs of millions of patients with endocrine diseases. His most recent work with glucagon-based mixed agonists for treatment of obesity has received global recognition.”—James P. Reilly, Indiana University

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