Bodor received his B.S./M.S. degree in Organic Chemistry in 1959 at Bolyai University in Transylvania, and his Ph.D. degree in 1965 from the University of Babes-Bolyai, Cluj and the Romanian National Academy of Sciences. He was a Group Leader at the Pharmacochemical Research Institute in Romania until 1968, when he received a R. A. Welch Fellowship at the University of Texas in Austin. In 1972 he became a Senior Research Scientist at ALZA Laboratories in Lawrence, Kansas, which later became INTERx Research Corporation, where he was Director of Research, as well as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Kansas until 1978.
Bodor joined the University of Florida in Gainesville in 1979 as Professor and Chairman of the Medicinal Chemistry Department. He was promoted to Graduate Research Professor of the university in 1983. He is the Executive Director of the Center for Drug Discovery in the College of Pharmacy. He also holds appointments as Affiliate Graduate Research Professor in the Department of Chemistry in the College of Liberal Arts and the Department of Ophthalmology in the College of Medicine at the University. During his tenure at the University of Florida, he has supervised the training of more than 50 doctoral students and over 100 postdoctoral level research associates and fellows. In February 2000, he took a leave of absence from his academic posts at UF to accept a position as Senior Vice President of Basic Research and Drug Discovery at the IVAX Corporation. Bodor served as Chief Scientific Officer of the IVAX Corporation, Managing Director of the IVAX Drug Research Institute, Budapest, Hungary, as well as President of the IVAX Research Institute until October 2005, when he returned to the University of Florida as Graduate Research Professor and Executive Director of the Center for Drug Discovery.
Inducted into the American chemical Society’s Hall of Fame, Division of Medicinal Chemistry.
Bodor’s main research interests include design of drugs with improved therapeutic index, design of new chemical delivery systems, computer-assisted drug design, drug transport and metabolism, and theoretical and mechanistic organic chemistry. He has published more than 500 research articles, holds more than 180 patents, and is on the editorial boards of several international scientific journals. Bodor is the founder and organizer of a biennial series of symposia entitled, The Retrometabolism Based Drug Design and Targeting Conference, which is dedicated to the study of the drug optimization strategies that he has pioneered. The soft steroid Loteprednol Etabonate, he designed, is on the market in the U.S. and other countries. Other drugs he has designed using the retrometabolic concepts are in advanced clinical development.
He is an elected Fellow of the Academy of Pharmaceutical Sciences, the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and American College of Clinical Pharmacology. He is also an Honorary Member of the Hungarian Chemical Society and the Panhellenic Society of Pharmacists. Among other honors, Dr. Bodor has been named “The 1984 Florida Scientist of the Year” and received the first AAPS Research Achievement Award in Medicinal and Natural Product Chemistry in 1988, as well as the APhA Research Achievement Award in Pharmaceutical and Medicinal Chemistry in 1989. In 1989 he also received an honorary Doctor of Science degree from the Technical University of Budapest, and then was awarded the Doctor Honoris Causa degree from the Medical University of Debrecen in 1990. In 1994 he was named the first recipient of the Nagai Foundation Tokyo International Fellowship. In 1995 he was elected to the Hungarian National Academy of Sciences. He was named by the American Chemical Society as the 1996 recipient of the Leo Friend Award in recognition of his article entitled, “Design of Biologically Safer Chemicals,” published in Chemtech, October 1995. He is the first College of Pharmacy faculty member to receive a Professorial Excellence Award, given by the University of Florida in 1996. The AACP selected Dr. Bodor as the recipient of the 1997 Volwiler Research Achievement Award. In April 2000, Bodor was named the V. Ravi Chandran Professor in Drug Design and Targeting of the UF College of Pharmacy, the first recipient of this endowed professorship. In February 2002, he was elected a Fellow of the World Innovation Foundation. In 2004, Ferenc Madl, President of Hungary, awarded Bodor the Gold Cross of Merit of the Hungarian Republic. An honorary Doctor of Science degree was conferred upon Bodor by the University of Florida in 2005. In 2007, the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists awarded Bodor with a Distinguished Pharmaceutical Scientist Award.