Bruce E. Maryanoff, Ph.D.


Dr. Bruce E. Maryanoff was born on 26 February 1947 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. While growing up in Philadelphia, he established his first “laboratory” in the basement of his home at eight years of age. These early chemical studies eventually brought some dismay to his parents, due to nasty odors and shock-sensitive compounds. From Drexel University, Dr. Maryanoff earned a B.S. degree in chemistry (1969) and a Ph.D. degree in organic chemistry (1972; with Prof. Robert O. Hutchins). In 1971, he married Dr. Cynthia A. Maryanoff (née Milewski), an organic chemistry labmate. After postdoctoral studies for two years at Princeton University with Prof. Kurt M. Mislow, he joined McNeil Laboratories, Inc., a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary. He advanced on the scientific ladder in various Johnson & Johnson pharmaceutical units to the highest scientific position in the company. Presently, he is a Distinguished Research Fellow and a Team Leader in Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development, Spring House, Pennsylvania.

Scientific Contributions. Dr. Maryanoff has made numerous contributions in medicinal chemistry and organic chemistry. He is an internationally renowned expert in drug design and drug discovery. From 1976−1992, he focused on central nervous system (CNS) therapeutics, with an emphasis on anticonvulsants and antidepressants. Dr. Maryanoff invented TOPAMAX® topiramate, a unique sugar sulfamate derivative, which is marketed worldwide for treating epilepsy and migraine headache, and achieved annual sales of more than $2 billion. Since 1991, he has pursued cardiovascular therapeutics, while also seeking drugs for treating pulmonary inflammatory diseases, metabolic disorders, and epilepsy. In the past 15 years, his drug research has dealt with structure-based drug design; peptides and peptidomimetics; inhibitors of diverse enzymes, especially serine proteases (thrombin, factor Xa, tryptase, cathepsin G, chymase) and kinases (protein kinase C-β, glycogen synthase kinase-3β); integrin (GPIIb/IIIa, αvβ3/5, α4β1/7) antagonists; and ligands for G-protein-coupled receptors (protease-activated receptors, urotensin-II receptor, vasopressin receptors, ADP receptor P2Y12). His efforts have led to 23 compounds entering preclinical development, 13 of which advanced into human clinical trials. In organic chemistry, he made seminal contributions to understanding the stereochemistry and mechanism of the Wittig olefination reaction; adapted cobalt-mediated [2+2+2] alkyne cyclotrimerizations to the synthesis of macrocycles; and devised novel, self-assembling collagen-mimetic peptides. Dr. Maryanoff has published 260 scientific papers, is an inventor on 95 U.S. Patents (issued or pending), has presented 160 invited lectures, and has mentored 11 postdoctoral associates.

Professional Service. Dr. Maryanoff has served in numerous capacities, including: the Editorial Advisory Boards of 12 journals; a 4-year term on the Medicinal Chemistry Study Section of the National Institutes of Health; a 4-year term on the Advisory Board of the American Chemical Society (ACS) Petroleum Research Fund; Chairman of the 1989 Gordon Research Conference on Organic Reactions and Processes; member of the Board of Directors of the ACS Philadelphia Section; and Chair of the Philadelphia Organic Chemists’ Club. He has organized and chaired several symposia at ACS national and regional meetings, edited a special issue of J. Med. Chem. to honor the memory of Dr. Paul A. J. Janssen (published in 2005), and was the inaugural editor of the book series Advances in Medicinal Chemistry.

Awards & Honors. Dr. Maryanoff has received two ACS national awards, a 2000 ACS Heroes of Chemistry Award and the 2003 ACS Award in Industrial Chemistry. He was inducted into the ACS Medicinal Chemistry Division Hall of Fame in 2008. He received a Philadelphia ACS Section Award (1984) and a Philadelphia Organic Chemists' Club Award (1995). He was honored with the Johnson Medal for Research and Development for discovery and development of TOPAMAX®, and was twice a recipient of Johnson & Johnson's Philip B. Hofmann Research Scientist Award. Dr. Maryanoff was recognized by Drexel University as a notable alumnus with several awards, including election to the Drexel Alumni 100 Club. He was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (1989) and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (2000).