European Federation for Medicinal Chemistry Awards

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  • Author: ChemViews
  • Published Date: 03 September 2012
  • Copyright: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
thumbnail image: European Federation for Medicinal Chemistry Awards

The European Federation for Medicinal Chemistry (EFMC) awarded several prizes at the 22nd International Symposium on Medicinal Chemistry held in Berlin, Germany, on September 2–6, 2012. The winners were presented with their awards in a ceremony on the first day of the symposium and each winner delivered an award lecture during the symposium.


The Prous Institute – Overton and Meyer Award for New Technologies in Drug Discovery


Dr. Harren Jhoti
, Astex Pharmaceuticals, Cambridge, UK

This award acknowledges innovation and investigation in technological development related to drug discovery. Dr. Jhoti receives it for his development and successful application of fragment-based lead finding strategies in drug discovery, an approach which is now widely and increasingly used throughout the pharmaceutical industry and in academia.

Harren Jhoti studied biochemistry at Queen Mary College, London, UK, and gained his Ph.D. in protein crystallography from Birkbeck College, London, UK, in 1989. He was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Oxford, UK, prior to joining GlaxoWellcome, Greenford, UK. There, he served as head of Structural Biology and Bioinformatics from 1991–1999. In 1999, Jhoti co-founded the oncology-focused biotechnology company Astex Therapeutics, Cambridge, UK, where he is currently president and member of the Board of Directors.


The Nauta Award for Pharmacochemistry


Professor Alexander Levitzki
, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel

This award recognizes outstanding achievements in the field of medicinal chemistry. Professor Levitzki is awarded for his work on cell signaling and the therapeutic concept that tyrosine kinase function can be selectively modulated by small molecule inhibitors. This approach has led to the development and launch of several protein tyrosine kinase inhibition-based cancer therapies.

Alexander Levitzki studied chemistry and bacteriology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel, and gained his Ph.D. from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel, in 1968. From 1968–1971, he was a postdoctoral researcher at University of California, Berkeley, USA, in the group of Professor Daniel E. Koshland, Jr. He joined the biochemistry faculty at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1974 and is currently the Wolfson Family Professor of Biochemistry there.


The UCB – Ehrlich Award for Excellence in Medicinal Chemistry


Professor Krzysztof Jozwiak, Medical University of Lublin, Poland

This award is given to a young scientist who has performed outstanding research in the field of medicinal chemistry in its broadest sense. Professor Jozwiak is recognized for his contributions in the area of ligand design for nicotinic, AMPA (α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid), and adrenergic receptors. In particular, he has developed fenetrol derivatives which are selective for ²2-adrenergic receptors by careful study and synthesis of different stereoisomers. These compounds are of interest in the cardiovascular area as well as for the potential treatment of brain tumors.

Krzysztof Jozwiak gained his Ph.D. from the Medical University of Lublin, Poland, in 2000. He went on to complete a first postdoctoral position at the National Institute on Aging, National Institute of Health, Baltimore, USA. His second postdoctoral position was at the International Institute on Molecular and Cell Biology, Warsaw, Poland. Since 2007, he has been a tenured professor in the Faculty of Pharmacy, Medical University of Lublin, Poland.


EFMC Prize for Young Medicinal Chemist in Industry

This prize acknowledges and recognizes an outstanding young medicinal chemist under the age of 35 working in industry within Europe. Sharan Bagal, Pfizer, UK, was announced as the winner with the two runners up being Laure Bouchez, Novartis, Switzerland, and Fabrizio Giordanetto, AstraZeneca, Sweden.


EFMC Prize for Young Medicinal Chemist in Academia

This prize acknowledges and recognizes an outstanding young medicinal chemist under the age of 35 working in academia within Europe. Stuart Conway, University of Oxford, UK, was announced as the winner with the two runners up being Chris De Graaf, Leiden/Amsterdam Center for Drug Research, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and Andrew Wilson, University of Leeds, UK.


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