UCLA Academic Senate Faculty Research Lecture

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Professor Michael Jung has been selected for UCLA’s 130th Faculty Research Lectureship, placing him among the university’s most distinguished scholars.

A tradition established at UCLA in 1925, the purpose of the annual UCLA Academic Senate Faculty Research Lecture is to accord Senate members the high recognition that is their due, and further to give faculty, students, and the citizens of the UCLA community an opportunity to understand the scholarly achievements and points of view of those whom the Senate honors. The date of the lecture will be announced in the next few months.

“Mike’s enthusiasm, constant striving for excellence, great teaching, and dedication to the field of chemistry, especially medicinal chemistry, are the cornerstones of a philosophy that has helped create an exciting and vibrant environment at UCLA,” said Department Chair, Professor Neil Garg. “Mike has not only reached the pinnacle of research success, he is also one of the most valuable members of our community, and a beloved teacher and mentor. The influence of Mike’s discoveries has been profound. He is both an educator and an entertainer, and I’m sure the whole university community will enjoy and be enlightened by the story he will tell at his Faculty Research Lecture.”

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Professor Michael Jung holding a model of one of the molecules he has designed.

An eminent chemical researcher, Professor Michael Jung holds the UC Presidential Chair in Medicinal Chemistry  He has made exceptional contributions to UCLA in the areas of research, teaching, and service. In the past few years, he has had brilliant success in the development of drugs for prostate cancer. UCLA has benefited tremendously from Jung’s accomplishments, receiving more than $1.1B from selling the patent rights to the prostate cancer drug Xtandi. His second drug, Erleada, also for prostate cancer, was approved in 2018. The royalties from that drug are also helping with fellowships and research at UCLA. Last year, Jung was awarded the 2019 American Association for Cancer Research Award for Outstanding Achievement in Chemistry in Cancer Research.

In 2017, Jung and his wife, Alice, endowed the Michael and Alice Jung Chair in Medicinal Chemistry and Drug Discovery to enable UCLA to hire and support future scientists/educators.

Every year, the Academic Senate awards lectureships to two faculty members, one from the natural sciences and one from the humanities, social disciplines, or creative arts, with the purpose of acknowledging faculty achievements and giving the campus and community the chance to learn about them from the perspectives of the faculty honored. The first Faculty Research Lecture was given in 1925, and the lectureship series was expanded to include two a year in 1986. Faculty Research Lectureships are presented biannually, in the Fall and Spring quarters.

Past recipients of Faculty Research Lectureships within the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry include William G. Young (1947), Saul Winstein (1955), Donald J. Cram (1970), Paul D. Boyer (1982), David Eisenberg (1989), Mostafa A. El-Sayed (1991), M. Frederick Hawthorne (1995), Kendall N. Houk (1998), and Steven G. Clarke (2009), and Richard Kaner (2013).

Penny Jennings, UCLA Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, penny@chem.ucla.edu.