Woster is MUSC’s All-Star medicinal chemist

Roby Hill
October 21, 2020
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He’s in the Cooperstown of medicinal chemistry.

Patrick Woster, the MUSC College of Pharmacy SmartState® Chair in Drug Discovery, professor and chair of the Department of Drug Discovery and Biomedical Sciences, and recent recipient as co-principal investigator of a $2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), is one of the country’s foremost authorities in medicinal chemistry.

Woster was inducted into the Medicinal Chemistry Hall of Fame in 2019 at the National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, joining the fewer than 100 elite scientists previously honored with Hall of Fame membership for their significant contributions to the field of medicinal chemistry, which uses a combination of chemistry and biology techniques to discover potential new drugs and is the first step in the drug development pipeline. The Hall of Fame includes three Nobel laureates.

“Pat is an outstanding role model in the College of Pharmacy,” said Phillip D. Hall, dean of the MUSC College of Pharmacy. “His tremendous success as a research scientist illustrates the pairing of hard work with a profound and curious mind, which is an inspiration for the students he teaches and the faculty he mentors. His wit and warmth brighten the lab and the classroom, and we are blessed to have him as a leader.”

Woster’s work has garnered funding from multiple sources, including most recently in a collaborative study with Chad Novince of the James B. Edwards College of Dental Medicine. The NIH awarded the five-year, $2 million grant to study the immune response in periodontal disease (PD) to provide a more robust understanding of PD progression, validate a potential drug target, and lead to chemical probes with therapeutic potential.

A native of Omaha, Nebraska, Woster received a bachelor of science in pharmacy in 1978 and a Ph.D. in medicinal chemistry in 1987, both from the University of Nebraska Medical Center. He was a postdoctoral associate in chemistry at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and in medicinal chemistry at the University of Michigan. He joined the pharmacy at Wayne State University in 1988, rising to the rank of full professor of pharmaceutical sciences by 2001. He joined MUSC in 2011, where he was appointed professor and SmartState® Endowed Chair in Drug Discovery and then department chair in 2015.

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