Alimta inventor Taylor establishes fund for chemistry research

21 Jan 2009 by under News, People, Research/Treatment

taylor Alimta inventor Taylor establishes fund for chemistry researchHamilton College alumnus Edward C. Taylor (’46) and his wife recently donated $1 million to Dr. Taylor’s alma mater for the establishment of an endowed fund for chemistry research at the college. Taylor is the inventor of Alimta, the most successful cancer drug worldwide, and the only cancer drug approved for the treatment of mesothelioma.

Although Hamilton is a liberal arts college, Taylor fell in love with the subject of chemistry in 1942 when he took the class as an elective to fulfill a science requirement. He credits the College’s smaller, more one-on-one class sizes with helping him form a bond with his professor, Dick Sutherland, who he says became his mentor, fostering his inante love of chemistry.

Taylor went on to earn his Ph.D. in Chemistry from Cornell University. While exploring a research topic for his doctorate thesis in organic chemistry, he came upon an article in Science magazine about a fascinating compound isolated from the human liver (now recognized as folic acid) that was shown to be necessary to the growth of microorganims.

Researchers would discover that by modifying the compound, they could create a new compound to inhibit the growth of microorganisms. In his research, Taylor applied the compound to inhibit the growth of tumors. He developed a collaboration with drug manufacturer Eli Lilly in 1985 to help fund his studies.

After 12 years of research and development, Taylor’s compound became the cancer drug Alimta.

The Edward and Virginia Taylor Fund for Student/Faculty research in Chemistry will be part of the Excelsior Campaign. The fund will offer students the opportunity to pursue research in organic chemistry, biochemistry, physical chemistry and other divisions of chemical reserach beginning in the summer of 2009.

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