Merck funds professorship to honor alumnus

Princeton NJ -- A new professorship in chemistry has been established by the Merck Company Foundation to honor Arthur Patchett '51, a research chemist and former vice president of medicinal chemistry at Merck.

The Arthur Allan Patchett Professorship in Organic Chemistry will be created with a $3 million gift in recognition of Patchett's distinguished career at Merck, which spans more than four decades. A search will begin next summer for a leading scholar to fill the new chair.

A chemistry major at Princeton, Patchett graduated Phi Beta Kappa and went on to receive his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Harvard University in 1955, working in the laboratories of Nobel Laureate R.B. Woodward.

During his career, he conducted groundbreaking research that led to the development of several major cardiovascular drugs. Although Patchett retired last year, he continues to consult at Merck.

"Art Patchett played an absolutely pivotal role in the invention of some of the most important and widely used families of drugs available today. We conservatively estimate that literally hundreds of thousands of people throughout the world are alive today directly as a result of the therapeutic agents that Art helped to pioneer," said Thomas Salzmann, senior vice president for basic research at Merck's research laboratories in Rahway, N.J. "We are delighted to establish this chair at Art's alma mater in recognition of a truly remarkable career in science."

George McLendon, chair of Princeton's Department of Chemistry, noted that Patchett has been a remarkably devoted and inspired scientist. "We are delighted that Merck has chosen to recognize Dr. Patchett's accomplishments by strengthening the relationship between Princeton's chemistry department and Merck in this tangible way," he said.


May 21, 2001
Vol. 90, No. 28
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