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Born in India, Prof. A.K.Ganguly earned his undergraduate and master’s degrees in chemistry from Delhi University, where he also completed his Ph.D. in organic chemistry in 1959 under the supervision of Prof. T.R.Seshadri. As a testament to his high level of scholarship, he then received the prestigious 1851 Exhibition Scholarship, awarded annually by the Royal Commission, Great Britain, to only one student of science from India to study in England. He attended the Imperial College of Science and Technology, London, where he obtained his second Ph.D. in chemistry in 1961. There, he studied under the supervision of Sir Derek Barton, a Nobel Laureate in chemistry, whom Dr. Ganguly credits as the greatest influence of his scientific career.
After finishing his studies at the Imperial College of Science and Technology Prof. Ganguly returned to India to work for Glaxo Laboratories in Bombay. After a brief period of stay at Glaxo he moved to the Ciba Research Center, also in Bombay, where he established a fruitful collaboration with Prof. T.R.Govindachari.
Prof Ganguly immigrated to the United States in 1967 and worked with Sir Derek at the Research Institute of Medicine and Chemistry, Cambridge, Massachusetts before joining the Schering-Plough Research Institute, Kenilworth, NJ in 1968 as a Senior Scientist. At Schering-Plough Research Institute he progressed to the position of Senior Vice President of Chemical Research in which capacity he directed all aspects of Chemical Research at the institute. In September 1999 he joined Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, NJ where he is presently a Distinguished Research Professor of Chemistry and Co-Director in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology. He teaches Medicinal Chemistry and directs research programs for graduate students at Stevens.
Prof. Ganguly has made many significant contributions in drug discovery. He is associated with the discoveries of Ezetimibe (Zetia), a cholesterol absorption inhibitor; Noxafil (Posaconazole), a potent antifungal; Lonafarnib (Sarasar), a highly selective farnesyl protein transferase inhibitor for the treatment of cancer and SCH 503034, an orally active inhibitor of Hepatitis C Virus protease. Prof. Ganguly is also recognised for his many contributions towards synthesis of other biologically active molecules. In the area of infectious diseases, Prof. Ganguly’s contribution towards solving the very complex structure of Ziracin, a potent antibiotic which is active against Methicillin resistant Staph. aureus and synthesis of Penem antibiotics are widely recognized in the scientific community.
Prof. Ganguly has published two hundred thirteen papers and is a co inventor of eighty-seven patents, and has been a plenary lecturer at many international meetings. He has received several awards, a partial list of which is shown below:
1. Recipient of Professor Seshadri Memorial Award for the year 1982.
2. Charles Sabat Lecturer, Rutgers University, 1987.
3 Recipient of "Outstanding Scientist Award" given by the Association of Scientists of Indian Origin in America, Inc., 1991.
4. Third Herman S. Bloch Memorial Lecturer at The University of Chicago, 1995.
5. Ranbaxy Science Foundation Award for Pharmaceutical Sciences, 1997.
6.. Gurbax Singh Memorial Award Lecture for Biomedical Sciences, 1999.
7. E. B. Hershberg Award for important discoveries in medicinally active substances, American Chemical Society, 2003.
8. Presidential Lecture at the Acadia University, Canada, 2003.
9. Doctor of Engineering (Honoris Causa) from Stevens Institute of Technology, 2004.
10. Lifetime achievement award, Indian Chemical Society, 2004
11. Thomas Alva Edison Award, 2006
12. Hall of Fame, Medicinal Chemistry, American Chemical Society, 2007.
Prof. Ganguly remains as a consultant at Schering-Plough Research Institute .