IU Distinguished Professor Richard DiMarchi elected as a member of National Academy of Medicine

  • Oct. 19, 2015


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University Distinguished Professor Richard D. DiMarchi, one of the world's leading peptide chemists, has been elected as a member of the prestigious National Academy of Medicine, becoming the 10th IU faculty member to join the organization and the first on the IU Bloomington campus.

Election to the National Academy of Medicine, previously known as the Institute of Medicine, is considered one of the highest honors in the field of health and medicine and recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service.

An expert in peptide chemistry, biochemistry and pharmacology, DiMarchi also serves as the Linda and Jack Gill Chair in Biomolecular Sciences and the Standiford H. Cox Professor of Chemistry in the IU Bloomington College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Chemistry, where he previously served as department chair.

DiMarchi’s career spans academia, biotechnology and the pharmaceutical industry. His current research focuses on developing macromolecules with enhanced therapeutic properties through biochemical and chemical optimization.

"Richard DiMarchi’s rare combination of expertise in both the science and business of drug development has led to new treatments and therapies for diseases, such as diabetes and obesity, that represent some of the leading public health challenges in our state, nation and world," IU President Michael A. McRobbie said. "We are very proud of Richard’s remarkable service to IU's research enterprise and the outstanding contributions he has made to the university’s academic mission and reputation as well as to the larger international scientific community. Indeed, he is highly deserving of this honor, which reflects a thriving 35-year career and groundbreaking work that has led to advancements that continue to touch millions of lives each day."

A highly respected international authority in the discovery, development and manufacture of new drugs, DiMarchi joined IU in 2003 after 22 years as a senior research scientist at Eli Lilly and Co. He discovered Humalog at Lilly Research Laboratories and contributed to the development of a number of peptide and protein-based medicines, including Forteo, rGlucagon and Humulin, which annually sell in excess of $5 billion.

He is the holder of more than 100 patents; co-author of more than 150 scientific papers; co-founder of the IU-initiated Marcadia Biotech, purchased by Roche in 2010, and Calibrium LLC, purchased by Novo-Nordisk in 2015; and co-founder of the biotechnology companies Ambrx, Assembly and MB-2. Merck, Roche and Novo-Nordisk are also independently advancing novel drug candidates inspired by discoveries of the DiMarchi laboratory at IU.

In addition, DiMarchi has been chair of the Peptide Therapeutics Foundation since 2008 and served as a member of the board of directors for the Biotechnology Industry Organization from 2001 to 2003. He has served as scientific advisor to Ferring Pharmaceuticals, Merck, Roche and three venture funds: 5AM Ventures, Thomas McNerney Ventures and Twilight Venture Partners. He is also a member of the external advisory committee for the Industry Collaboration Portal at the IU School of Medicine.

The holder of numerous awards, DiMarchi is the recipient of the 2005 American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists Career Research Achievement Award in Biotechnology; 2006 American Chemical Society's Barnes Award for Leadership in Chemical Research Management and Esselen Award for Chemistry in the Service of Public Interest; 2007 Carothers Award for Excellence in Polymer Sciences; 2009 Watanabe Award for Life Sciences Research; 2011 Merrifield Award for Career Contributions in Peptide Sciences; 2012 Phillip E. Nelson Innovation Award; and 2014 Erwin Schrödinger-Preis. He is also a 2014 inductee to the National Inventors Hall of Fame and a 2015 inductee to the National Academy of Inventors, and he will receive the 2016 American Chemical Society Alfred Burger Award in Medicinal Chemistry.

New members of the National Academy of Medicine are elected by current active members through a selective process that recognizes individuals who have made major contributions to the advancement of the medical sciences, health care and public health.

This year's election includes 70 new members and 10 international members. With the election of the new members, DiMarchi joins a select group of 1,963 active members across the globe.

DiMarchi holds a Ph.D. in biochemistry from IU and a Bachelor of Arts from Florida Atlantic University. He served a postdoctoral fellowship at The Rockefeller University.

Richard DiMarchi

Richard DiMarchi | Photo by Indiana University

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