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2012 Kritzler Lecture to focus on discovery of drug to treat epilepsy, migraines

Sep 26, 2012

Dr. Bruce E. Maryanoff

Dr. Bruce E. Maryanoff will deliver Ohio Northern University’s 2012 Kritzler Lecture, titled “A Story of Adventure: The Discovery of the Drug TOPAMAX® Topiramate for Treating Epilepsy and Migraines,” in The Freed Center for Performing Arts on Monday, Oct. 8, at 7 p.m.
Maryanoff discovered and championed TOPAMAX® topiramate, a unique sugar sulfamate derivative, which is sold worldwide for treating epilepsy and migraine headache. Topiramate is a main component of VIVUS’s antiobesity drug Qsymia. From 1991-2010, he pursued therapeutics for cardiovascular disease, metabolic disorders, epilepsy, and pulmonary inflammation. Since 1990, his drug research has dealt with structure-based drug design; peptides/peptidomimetics; enzyme inhibitors, especially for serine proteases and kinases; integrin antagonists; and ligands for G-protein-coupled receptors. His efforts led to 23 compounds entering preclinical development, 13 of which advanced into human clinical trials.

Maryanoff, who was born in Philadelphia, earned a B.S. in chemistry in 1969 and a Ph.D. in organic chemistry in 1972 from Drexel University. After postdoctoral studies at Princeton University, he joined McNeil Laboratories, a Johnson & Johnson company. He advanced on the scientific ladder in various Johnson & Johnson pharmaceutical units to the highest scientific position, distinguished research fellow. He retired in 2010 after 36 years and is now affiliated with The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, Calif., the Pennsylvania Drug Discovery Institute, and the Institute for Hepatitis and Virus Research, both in Doylestown, Pa. Maryanoff has made numerous contributions in medicinal and organic chemistry. He is an internationally renowned expert in drug design and drug discovery.

Maryanoff has received three American Chemical Society (ACS) national awards, the Heroes of Chemistry Award in 2000, the Award in Industrial Chemistry in 2003, the 2013 E.B. Hershberg Award for Important Discoveries in Medicinally Active Substances and the 2009 Edward E. Smissman Award from the ACS Division of Medicinal Chemistry. He was inducted into the ACS Medicinal Chemistry Hall of Fame in 2008. Maryanoff was elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1989, the Royal Society of Chemistry in 2000 and the ACS in 2009, the inaugural year.

The annual Kritzler Lecture, named in honor of ONU alumnus Dr. James Kritzler, is sponsored by ONU’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. The lectureship was established in 1996 as a way to afford students access to major new developments in chemistry presented by a scientist recognized as a masterful communicator of ideas. For more information,visit

The event is free and open to the public.