C.K. “David” Chu, a distinguished research professor and
professor emeritus at the College
of Pharmacy, was presented the Antonín Holý Memorial
Lecture Award, which recognizes significant contributions in medicinal
chemistry, at the annual meeting of the International Society of
Antiviral Research held recently in Atlanta.
Antonín Holý was a medicinal chemist
whose discovery of antiviral drugs led to the treatment of millions of
patients worldwide infected with AIDs and
has spent a majority of his 40-year career in medicinal chemistry, which
has led to the discovery of numerous anticancer and antiviral agents.
During his academic career, he discovered a number of clinical candidates
for cancer and viral diseases, and he is listed as the inventor on 60 U.S.
patents. He has published more than 300 peer-reviewed articles in
organic, biochemical and medicinal chemistry; edited four
textbooks; and trained more than 130 graduate students and
postdoctoral fellows. As a co-founder of Pharmasset
and ATEA Pharmaceuticals, Chu has
maintained an active research program in drug design and synthesis since
his retirement in 2008. His work in drug discovery has been recognized
nationally and internationally.
Chu obtained a B.S. degree in pharmacy from Seoul
and after serving as an officer in the Korean Navy, he came to the U.S., receiving a M.S. degree from Idaho State
University in 1968 and a Ph.D.
in medicinal chemistry from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1975.
After working as a postdoctoral fellow in drug discovery at the Memorial
Sloan-Kettering Institute of Cancer Research in New York, he stayed on as a research
associate for another five years before joining the UGA College of
Pharmacy in 1982.
Among his many honors, Chu has held an
endowed professorship of the UGA Research Foundation, received the
Creative Research Medal from UGA and earned an NIH Merit Award. He was
elected a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors in 2015 and
received the Willis Gregory Award from the School of Pharmacy
of the SUNY Buffalo this year. He also received the highest honor from
his alma mater, Seoul
as the Alumnus of the Year in 2015.