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Penn State's Distinguished Alumni Award

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Richard Silverman receives the 2016 Distinguished Alumni Award.

Richard Silverman is a chemistry professor at Northwestern University. He is most known for his invention of pregabalin, which is now marketed by Pfizer under the trade name Lyrica. He spent a short time at Harvard University before being drafted and serving as a United States Army Physical Sciences Assistant at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research from January 1969 until his honorable discharge in January 1971. In 1974, he received his Ph.D. in organic chemistry with advisor David Dolphin. He then spent two years as a postdoctoral fellow with Robert Abeles in biochemistry at Brandeis University.

Silverman was elected in 2014 to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. Other notable external awards he has received include 2014 Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, 2014 Excellence in Medicinal Chemistry Prize of the Israel Chemical Society, 2013 Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, 2013 Centenary Prize of the Royal Society of Chemistry, 2012 Sato Memorial International Award of the Pharmaceutical Society of Japan, 2011 Fellow of the American Chemical Society, 2011 E.B. Hershberg Award for important discoveries in medicinally active substances from the American Chemical Society, 2011 inductee into the Alumni Hall of Fame of Central High School of Philadelphia, 2009 inductee into the Medicinal Chemistry Hall of Fame of the American Chemical Society, and 1976 DuPontYoung Faculty Fellow. He has received numerous teaching awards from Northwestern University, including being named Charles Deering McCormick Professor of Teaching Excellence in 2001-2004 and the Excellence in Chemistry Education Award from the Northwestern University Chapter of Alpha Chi Sigma Chemistry Fraternity in 1999. In 1971, he received a U.S. Army Commendation Medal.

Silverman received his B.S. in Chemistry from Penn State in 1968.



About the Award:

The Distinguished Alumni Award is the highest honor The Pennsylvania State University bestows upon an outstanding alumnus/a. The award salutes the achievements of outstanding alumni whose “personal lives, professional achievements, and community service exemplify the objectives of their Alma Mater.”

For a list of additional Penn State's Distinguished Alumni Award recipients and an explanation of how you can nominate a Penn State alumnius/a for this title, please visit the Alumni Association's Distinguished Alumni Awards page.


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