Honoring Distinguished Service

Nicholas Bodor
Marcus Brewster, Nicholas Bodor and Hartmut Derendorf

Graduate Research Professor Emeritus (active) Nicholas Bodor, Ph.D., D.Sc., was honored in February on his 75th birthday for more than 30 years of service to the UF College of Pharmacy. Bodor, executive director of the UF Center for Drug Discovery, joined the college in 1979 as a professor and chairman of medicinal chemistry, and became a graduate research professor in 1983. His life’s work focused on the retrometabolic approach in which data gathered on the metabolic activation/deactivation of drugs is used in making crucial decisions ina very lengthy and costly drug design process. During his tenure, Bodor supervised the training of more than 50 doctoral students and more than 100 postdoctoral research associates and fellows.

Founder and CEO of Bodor Laboratories, Inc. since 2006, Bodor served previously as Chief Scientific Officer of the IVAX Corporation, and president of the IVAX Research Institute for five years.

Marcus Brewster, Ph.D., a former graduate student under Bodor, now vice president and Scientific Fellow at Janssen Research and Development in Belgium, made a special trip to UF as an invited speaker to honor the accomplishments of his mentor. In his presentation, “Improving Pharmacotherapy through Optimized Chemical Drug Delivery,” Brewster highlighted Bodor’s research contributions, numerous honors, international recognition and lasting friendships over the past three decades. His presentation demonstrated the significance of Bodor’s research contribution using the retrometabolic approach to drug discovery.

“Drug development is increasingly difficult based on a variety of confluent challenges,” said Brewster, “meaning that an ever-broadening tool kit is needed to impact productivity and probability of success.” Through his chemical design of loteprednol etabonate, Bodor achieved a dream shared by medicinal chemists worldwide — to have an FDA-approved drug fully developed and available for patients. His discovery, now on the market, is an active ingredient used in several ophthalmic prescription medicines to treat eye irritation or infection.And, through Bodor Laboratories, Inc., other new drugs designed by him are currently in clinical trials.

Following Brewster’s presentation, Dean Julie Johnson presented Bodor with an engraved University of Florida chair. The college also hosted a dinner in his honor, attended by his family, friends, former students and colleagues.