This year’s St. Louis Section ACS Award was given to Professor James Janetka of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, and Adjunct Professor of Chemistry at Washingon University in St. Louis. To celebrate the award, a symposium on “Mimicking Nature’s Biomolecules in Transformational Drug Discovery” was held on Friday November 2 in Erlanger Hall, at the Washington University Medical School with generous support by two companies, Fimbrion and ProteXase.
The symposium was led off by Suzy Hartman (chair elect) who described the local ACS and its activities, who then handed over the program to Prof. John Cooper, chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, who introduced Professor James Janetka. Dr. Janetka talked about his fascinating career in medicinal chemistry that culminated in the founding of ProteXase and Fimbrion. After his talk, Dr. Janetka introduced David Crich who spoke about RNA-targeted aminoglycoside antibiotic development. The third talk was by Robert Galemmo on the development of the factor Xa anti-coagulant Eliquis.
After the coffee break, Dr. John Tally (a former St. Louis Award winner) spoke on the discovery of the Cox-2 inhibitor Celebrex, and finally, Tomi Sawyer from Merck spoke on stapled peptides. The symposium was well attended by local faculty, staff, students and employes of local companies. The symposium was followed by a one-hour open bar reception with appetizers, and was followed immediately thereafter by the Award Banquet.
Report submitted by John-Stephen Taylor