Vol 3. Issue 29 / October 4, 2004

Renowned Chemist Joins Scripps Florida

The Scripps Research Institute announced today the appointment of noted chemist William R. Roush as a senior faculty member at the institute's new facility in Palm Beach County, Florida. Roush will serve as professor of chemistry, executive director of medicinal chemistry, and associate dean of the Scripps Florida graduate programs.

"Bill has been doing groundbreaking research in the analysis, structure determination, and synthesis of complex, biologically active natural products that may lead to the development of new drugs," said Scripps Research President Richard A. Lerner in announcing the appointment. "He has also been a caring mentor for two generations of outstanding young chemists, a role he'll continue with Scripps Florida graduate students and postdoctoral fellows."

Roush will begin work at Scripps Florida in early 2005. In addition to continuing his current laboratory interests, as executive director of medicinal chemistry, he will concentrate on further analyzing chemical compounds that have already shown potential for use in drug development, a major goal of the Scripps Florida operation.

"Professor Roush exemplifies the high bar we've set for faculty who can contribute to both basic research and drug discovery activities," said Scripps Research Professor of Cell Biology Steve A. Kay, vice-chair of the Scripps Florida Steering Committee.

As associate dean, Roush will develop and lead the Florida-based graduate programs, with the first Ph.D. candidates expected to arrive in 2006.  

About William R. Roush

Born in California 52 years ago, Roush received his bachelor's degree in chemistry, summa cum laude, from the University of California Los Angeles in 1974, where he performed undergraduate work with Scripps Research Professor Julius Rebek, Jr. He received his Ph.D. degree in chemistry from Harvard University in 1977 and after an additional year as a postdoctoral associate at Harvard, he joined the faculty of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) as an assistant professor. He moved to Indiana University in 1987 and was promoted to professor in 1989 and distinguished professor in 1995. Two years later, he went to the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor as the Warner Lambert/Parke Davis Professor of Chemistry. He currently serves as chair of the Department of Chemistry at the University of Michigan.

Roush has been a fellow of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, an Eli Lilly Grantee, and the holder of the Roger and Georges Firmenich Career Development Chair in Natural Products Chemistry at MIT. He received the 1992 Alan R. Day Award of the Philadelphia Organic Chemists' Club, the 1994 Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award of the American Chemical Society, and the 1996 American Chemical Society Akron Section Award.

In 1998, he received a Merit Award from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, and in 1999 he received a Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award from the University of Michigan. In 2002, he received the Paul G. Gassmann Distinguished Service Award of the American Chemical Society Division of Organic Chemistry. Most recently, Roush was named the recipient of the prestigious American Chemical Society 2004 Ernest Guenther Award in the Chemistry of Natural Products.

He currently is an associate editor of the Journalof the American Chemical Society and is on the editorial boards of a number of major journals in his field. He serves as a consultant for several pharmaceutical companies, including Eli Lilly and Company and Pfizer, Inc. He has held a number of named lectureships around the world and has published more than 225 papers in the leading scientific journals.


Send comments to: mikaono[at]scripps.edu

In addition to directing a research program in chemistry, Professor William Roush will develop and lead the Florida-based graduate programs.