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Prof. Magid Abou Gharbia

International Awards

Grand Hamdan International Award - Drug Discovery

Personal Details/ Academic Background:

Prof. Magid Abou-Gharbia received his BS in Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences in 1971 and Masters in Chemistry in 1974 from Cairo University in Egypt. He went on to complete his PhD in Chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania in USA. Following this, he was awarded an NIH Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Fels Research Institute and the Department of Chemistry at Temple University in USA.

Responsibilities and Assignments:

Upon completion of his post-doctoral fellowship, he started his career as a Research Chemist in Medicinal Chemistry with Wyeth Laboratories. Prof. Abou-Gharbia's early accomplishments established his credentials as an outstanding bench chemist with innovative ideas and approaches with regard to the development of bioactive molecules. His carrier progression attests to the breadth and depth of his accomplishments at every level of the drug discovery endeavor, from the bench through the role of group leader, up to major administrative responsibilities, and culminating as Senior Vice President and Head of Chemical & Screening Sciences. Each successive transformation of Prof. Abou-Gharbia's responsibilities at Wyeth was soundly based on his experience and productivity. It is clear that the evaluative process at Wyeth repeatedly recognized his consistent, outstanding and unique contributions despite numerous changes in corporate leadership over the years. As a corporate leader Prof. Abou-Gharbia provided the strategic, scientific and administrative leadership for the research efforts of over 500 scientists at four discovery research sites in Collegeville, PA, Princeton, NJ, Pearl River, NY and Cambridge, MA.

Research and Achievements:

As an accomplished scientist he took the lead in integrating the latest enabling technologies into the discovery process at Wyeth, thereby strengthening and expanding the medicinal chemistry component. In 2006, Prof. Abou-Gharbia established a major outsourcing initiative with GVK Bio in Hyderabad, India involving  150 chemists in a dedicated research facility; the first and largest medicinal chemistry international research collaboration of its type. He was also responsible for establishing additional international corporate research partnerships in several countries, including Italy, Scotland and others.

Prof Magid Abou-Gharbia is the founding director of the Moulder Center for Drug Discovery Research at Temple University. His contributions to drug discovery are indeed exceptional,  including efforts leading to the discovery and development of  eight marketed drugs across multiple therapeutic areas. Mylotarg, Torisel, and Bosulif, each useful for the treatment of cancer, have increased the life expectancy of patients in need. Prof Abou-Gharbia’s vision and achievements also provided greatly needed therapy for patients afflicted with osteoporosis (Combriza), depression (Effexor, Pristique), insomnia (Sonata), and bacterial infections (Tygacil).

Prof Abou-Gharbia has documented many of his outstanding  discoveries and research in a large number of publications, which appeared in many prestigious journals and textbooks. All these outstanding achievements and discoveries have been  recognized worldwide and continue to the improve the lives of millions of patients across the globe.

Professional Milestones:

Prof. Abou-Gharbia's scientific achievements are truly outstanding. He has nearly 175 papers, publications, presentations, and invited lectures to his name, and he also holds over 95 US and 350 worldwide patents. In 1998, he was classified by the US Patent & Trademark office among the most Prolific Inventors of the Decade 1987-1997. Prof. Abou-Gharbia contributed to the discovery of new modes of therapy through the development of new drugs that have helped decrease morbidity or mortality for numerous diseases.

As the Director of the Moulder Center for Drug Discovery Research at Temple University School of Pharmacy, Prof. Abou-Gharbia continues his unrelenting march to develop mutually advantageous research partnerships with a strong base in medicinal chemistry. Within the University, he is the central organizer of the “Temple University Drug Discovery Research Initiative”, which involves several labs within and outside the institution. He has established collaborative relationships with the University of Perugia, and several Universities in the US, including Johns Hopkins University, the University of Rochester Medical Research Center, Wistar Institute, and others, as well as with corporate partners in the US, India and Sweden. He led a catalytic transformation of the research enterprise at the School of Pharmacy, Temple University. His recognized excellence as a medicinal chemist helped the School of Pharmacy to win a NIH stimulus grant. He has been key in the successful recruitment of AED15 million of state, federal, and corporate funding and helped to set the stage for other staff members who have recently been awarded approximately 3 million dollars of NIH, Department of Defense and corporate support.

Awards and Recognition:

Prof. Abou-Gharbia has received several awards in recognition of his numerous accomplishments. Major among are:

  • In 2001, he received the Earle B Barnes Award from the American Chemical Society in recognition of outstanding achievements in Chemical Research Management.
  • In 2003, he received the Procter Medal from the Philadelphia Drug Exchange for distinguished service in the alleviation of human suffering and advancing the health of the Public.
  • In 2004, he was inducted into the New Jersey Inventors Hall of Fame Award from the New Jersey Institute of Technology and the R & D Council of New Jersey for Extraordinary Contributions to the advancement of knowledge and human welfare in the state of New Jersey.
  • In 2006, he was named Researcher of the Year Award (Hall of Fame) from the Healthcare Institute of New Jersey for Scientific Achievement in the pharmaceutical industry.
  • In 2006, he became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemists.
  • In 2007, he received the American Institute of Chemists’ Chemical Pioneer Award in recognition of his research accomplishments in medicinal chemistry.
  • In 2008, he was awarded the Alfred Burger Award in Medicinal Chemistry.
  • In 2011, he was awarded the ACS Henry FWhalen Award for Business Development.
  • In 2013, he was awarded the Laura H. Carnell Professorship, the highest honor at Temple University in recognition for his outstanding achievements in research and preparing future generations of researchers.
  • In 2014, he received the American Chemical Society Heroes of Chemistry Award for his Wyeth team’s innovation that led to the discovery of the antidepressant Effexor, the First in Class Serotonin Norepinepghrine Reuptake Inhibitor (SNRI) which benefited over 25 million patients
  • In 2014, he received the Pennsylvania Bio Innovation Award and named Educator and Researcher of the year by the Philadelphia Business Journal in recognition for his efforts in preparing the next generation of scientists.

In recognition of his outstanding contributions and pioneering work in medicinal chemistry and the discovery of multiple marketed therapeutics that make the world a better place, Prof. Magid Abou-Gharbia truly deserves the Grand Hamdan International Award in Drug Discovery for the term 2013-2014.