FEATURED NEWS

Professor Michael E. Jung Inducted into the ACS MEDI Hall of Fame

By Laura Strom

This article was originally published by UCLA Chemistry & Biochemistry

Distinguished Professor Michael E. Jung, the Walter and Shirley Wang Chair in Medicinal Drug Discovery, has been inducted into the ACS Division of Medicinal Chemistry Hall of Fame.

The American Chemical Society’s Division of Medicinal Chemistry (MEDI) established the Hall of Fame in 2006 by Executive Committee.  Inductees can be nominated by Division members or are those who have previously received awards presented by the Division.  In addition to Professor Jung, this year’s other inductees are:  Maria-Jesus Blanco, Senior VP and Head of Drug Discovery at Atavistik; Christa Müller, Professor at the University of Bonn; Kevan Shokat, Professor at the University of California, San Francisco; and Wendy Young, Board Member and Scientific Advisor for a number of biotech companies.

Jung collaborated with Dr. Charles Sawyers to design and synthesize two drugs for the treatment of castration-resistant prostate cancer:  enzalutamide (Xtandi), approved in 2012, and apalutamide (Erleada), approved in 2018.  Research into this area is very competitive, with large pharmaceutical companies spending a great deal of time and money on it, and yet Jung, working with his research group and with Sawyers, was able to produce two successful drugs that have allowed upwards of one million men to live longer, healthier lives.  Jung also has further drugs in clinical trials. He has founded or co-founded 14 biotech companies, and he serves as a consultant or scientific advisory board member for several pharmaceutical and biotech firms.  He received the IUPAC-Richter Prize in Medicinal Chemistry in 2022 and the AACR Outstanding Achievement in Chemistry in Cancer Research Award in 2019.  Having been at UCLA for fifty years now, he has published nearly 400 research articles, has given more than 650 lectures on his research, and holds well over 400 patents and patent applications.

“Clearly this honor is due very largely to the hard work and dedication of the entire Jung research group, who carried out the work that resulted in my being chosen for this honor,” said Jung.  “I am extremely grateful to my group of excellent coworkers, past and present.  Congrats!”