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Lester A. Mitscher
President (1992-1993), Farnsworth Award (2007)
Les Mitscher received his Ph.D. from Wayne State Univ. (1958), working on the structure of coffee diterpenes and optical rotatory dispersion under Carl Djerassi. After working on natural product chemistry at Lederle Labs (1958-1967) and rising to group leader in antibiotic discovery, he became Asst. Prof. in Natural Products Chemistry at The Ohio State Univ. (1967), soon rising to Professor. In 1975, he became Univ. Distinguished Professor and Chair in the Dept. of Medicinal Chemistry at Univ. Kansas, retiring with a halftime appointment (2007). Les held joint academic appointments at Univ. Missouri, Kansas City and the Victorian College of Pharmacy, Melbourne. His research has centered on spectroscopy, synthesis, screening and structure determination of natural antimicrobial, anticancer and antimutagenic agents, and development of combinatorial methodologies. He has authored or co-authored over 280 papers, including on herbal medicines, and 7 books on drug discovery and properties. He is a member of the Executive Committee of the International Organization for Chemical Sciences in Development and the Senior Advisory Committee of the Global Alliance for TB Drug Development, and has traveled widely lecturing and performing research. He consults extensively in Industry and for NIH, and is on the editorial board of several journals. Among his awards are the Smissman Award in Med. Chem. (ACS), Volweiler Award (Am. Assoc. for Pharmaceutical Education), the Research Achievement Award in Nat. Prod. Chem. (Am. Pharmaceutical Assoc.), the Award in Med. Chem. (ACS Med. Chem. Div.). He is a Fellow of AAAS and member of the ACS Medicinal Chem. Roll of Honor. (LAM).