Investitures ensures the retention of great faculty members!
Three longtime faculty members in the College of Pharmacy have received named professorships in honor of their significant work. Each professorship acknowledges the recipients’ contributions to the UIC College of Pharmacy and to pharmaceutical research in general. A named professorship is one of the college’s highest academic honors.
The three named professors are Dr. Scott Gary Franzblau, Dr. C.T. Che, and Dr. Guido Frank Pauli.
Dr. Franzblau has been a professor in the department of Medical Chemistry and Pharmacognosy and director of the Institute for Tuberculosis Research since 2000. He has worked in the area of new assay development and drug discovery for tuberculosis and leprosy for the past 30 years. Over nearly two decades he has distinguished himself by assembling all of the components of a drug discovery team under one roof in the Institute for Tuberculosis Research. Through the institute, Dr. Franzblau is at the forefront of research into the discovery of new anti-tuberculosis agents. Known throughout the world, the institute can count members from China, France, Germany, India, Iran, Korea, Philippines, Poland and the U.S. In 2017 Dr. Franzblau received the Albert Schatz professorship, named for the researcher who first discovered the drug streptomycin.
Albert Schatz was a graduate student at Rutgers University when he isolated streptomycin, the first such antibiotic that proved useful in treating tuberculosis in humans. Schatz, however, received no recognition for his important discovery. Because the funds supporting the named professorship come from a royalty stream, Dr. Franzblau was in a position to right the wrong by naming the professorship. Since Dr. Schatz’s work was similar to what the Institute for Tuberculosis Research does, Dr. Franzblau decided to use his honor to in turn honor Dr. Schatz for his devotion to finding anti-disease agents from microorganisms at a time when doing so was far more difficult and dangerous than it is today.
Dr. Chun-Tao Che graduated from the Chinese University of Hong Kong with BSc (Biology) and MPhil (Biochemistry) degrees. In 1982, he earned his docorate in pharmacognosy at UIC, under the mentorship of Professor Harry H.S. Fong. After a brief period of postdoctoral research at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research in Toronto, he returned to UIC and became a research assistant professor. Dr. Che became the first Norman R. Farnsworth Professor of Pharmacognosy in the College of Pharmacy and Head of the Pharmacognosy Graduate Program in 2010. Since then, he has also been the Director of the World Health Organization Collaborating Center for Traditional Medicine at UIC. In 2017, Dr. Che was honored again, being named the first Harry H.S. Fong Professor. Dr. Che has gained an international reputation as a scholar, researcher and educator.
Throughout his distinguished academic career, Dr. Fong has focused his research efforts on collaborative drug discovery from plants, particularly those with active anti-tumor, anti-fertility, cancer chemopreventive, and anti-HIV compounds. He has been at UIC since 1970, becoming professor emeritus in 2004. For the past four decades, he also has been dedicated to the quality analysis and standardization of herbal medicines and botanical supplements, collaborating with the World Health Organization’s Traditional Medicine Program (1981-) and the Hong Kong Health Dept (2002-); and serves on scientific advisory boards for universities around the world. The American Botanical Council named Dr. Fong, as the recipient of the Norman R. Farnsworth Excellence in Botanical Research Award for 2014.
Dr. Pauli is a Professor and University Scholar in the College of Pharmacy. He has been with the College for nearly two decades. He is the director of PCPRS and NAPRALERT and is principal investigator and collaborator in NIH-funded interdisciplinary and translational projects involving bioactive natural products from diverse sources. He also serves in leadership roles in technology (CENAPT) and botanical research centers. NAPRALERT is the premier computerized database on the research and science of natural products. For the depth and diversity of his work, he received the Norman R. Farnsworth Professorship in 2017. Dr. Pauli also serves on scientific and review panels of federal agencies, editorial and professional boards, and other expert committees. His academic track record includes mentoring of 18 Ph.D. students, 17 postdoctoral scientist, 15 visiting professors and scientists, and active international collaborations, particularly in China and Europe.
Professor Norman R. Farnsworth was a revered figure at the UIC College of Pharmacy. He earned his doctorate in Pharmacognosy from the University of Pittsburgh in 1959, where he helped establish the Pharmacognosy Department and became its first chair. He was also the founding director of the Program for Collaborative Research in the Pharmaceutical Sciences at UIC. From 1970 to 1982, he was the head of the Department of Pharmacognosy and Pharmacology. A pioneer in the field of pharmacognosy, Dr. Farnsworth was awarded several honorary doctorates around the world. In 2005, the American Society of Pharmacognosy honored him with its Research Achievement Award.