Cynthia A Maryanoff to Receive 2015 Perkin Medal


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Cynthia A. Maryanoff to Receive Prestigious Perkin Medal

Internationally Recognized Expert in Drug Development to be honored in Philadelphia


PHILADELPHIA—April, 2015The Society of Chemical Industry (SCI), America Group, announced today that the 2015 SCI Perkin Medal will be presented to Cynthia A Maryanoff, Foundation Distinguished Professor at the Baruch S. Blumberg Institute (Doylestown).  This honor recognizes her outstanding work in process organic chemistry leading to drugs for treatment of epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease, cardiovascular disorders, AIDS, tuberculosis, and type 2 diabetes.  She will receive the medal at a dinner in her honor on October 6, 2015, at the Hilton Penns Landing Hotel in Philadelphia.

“Dr. Maryanoff is the rare chemist who has not only demonstrated a mastery of science through her work in chemical synthesis, but also in her keen understanding and application of scale-up and commercialization,” said Mike Graff, Chairman and CEO of American Air Liquide Holdings, and chairman of SCI America.  “Throughout her distinguished career, she has been instrumental in developing an astounding number of life-changing medicines in use today.”


About Cynthia Maryanoff

Throughout a long and successful career as an industrial process chemist, Dr. Maryanoff has consistently demonstrated scientific excellence in taking products from the laboratory to commercial manufacture.  Her focus on early process research emphasized a green-chemistry approach.  She has influenced or directed the development of nearly 1000 drug candidates in the fields of antipsychotic and antiepileptic treatments, strong analgesics with transdermal delivery, pulmonary surfactants, cardiovascular disease, endocrine function, and antiviral agents.  Some of the more notable are:

  • TOPAMAX – an anti-epileptic drug whose aggregate sales have surpassed $10 billion.
  • ULTRAM – an atypical analgesic, known better as tramadol, with over a billion dollars in sales used to treat moderate to severely moderate pain.
  • CYPHER – a drug-eluting stent (actually a medical device) whose product line has reached total sales of over $ 10 billion.

Although process development and scale-up are ordinarily considered engineering, in complex drug synthesis, basic chemistry is critical.  Maryanoff was the bridge between the lab and commercial operation.  She had an incredible track record of developing numerous commercial drug processes and never having a commercial manufacturing failure.

After receiving a B.S. in chemistry from Drexel University and a PhD in chemistry from Princeton, Maryanoff joined Smith, Kline & French Laboratories.  She then went to McNeil Pharmaceutical, a Johnson & Johnson company.  After a series of positions with increasing responsibilities, she was named a distinguished research fellow and in 2000 was named head of the ChemPharm Department  with responsibility for 150 employees in the US, Belgium, and Switzerland.  In 2013, she retired from J&J and continues her scientific career at the Baruch S. Blumberg Institute as a foundation distinguished professor.  Maryanoff has 67 US/European patents issued or pending and has published more than 100 scientific papers.

Dr. Maryanoff has been recognized with many corporate, local and national awards.  She received the Drexel University Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award in 1999, the ACS Garvin-Olin Medal in 1999, the ACS Earle B. Barnes Award for Leadership in Chemical Research Management in 2005, the ACS Henry F. Whalen award for Business Development in 2007, and American Women in Science, Elizabeth Bingham Award in 2010.  She was named a fellow for the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1991 and a fellow of the American Chemical Society in 2009.

About the Society of Chemical Industry (SCI) Perkin Medal

The annual award is recognized as the highest honor given for outstanding work in applied chemistry in the United States. It commemorates the discovery of the first synthetic dye (the so-called Perkin mauve) by Sir William Henry Perkin in 1856. This discovery was a significant step forward in organic chemistry that led to the birth of a major segment of the chemical industry. The SCI Perkin Medal was first awarded to Sir William at a banquet held by the SCI in New York in 1906. Since then, more than 100 such awards have been given to notable scientists.

About the Society of Chemical Industry (SCI)

SCI America Group, launched in 1894, is part of the Society of Chemical Industry’s international organization. It provides a unique networking forum for chemical industry leaders, industrial scientists and technologists to exchange new business ideas and best practices. It celebrates achievement to promote public awareness of the contributions of industrial chemistry and inspire students to enter technical careers.


SCI America Section also offers its members the opportunity to become part of an international network of industry thought leaders and researchers. Through specialized conferences, e-events, and publications, it helps foster best practices in fields as diverse as fine and commodity chemicals, food, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, agriculture, and environmental protection. SCI America events are managed by the Chemical Heritage Foundation (CHF). The award dinner will be the final event of Innovation Day, a full day of research collaboration in the molecular sciences held at CHF on October 6.
About the Chemical Heritage Foundation

CHF fosters dialogue on science and technology in society. Our staff and fellows study the past in order to understand the present and inform the future. We focus on matter and materials and their effects on our modern world in territory ranging from the physical sciences and industries, through the chemical sciences and engineering, to the life sciences and technologies. We collect, preserve, and exhibit historical artifacts; engage communities of scientists and engineers; and tell the stories of the people behind breakthroughs and innovations.