John M. Pezzuto - Dean of the College of Pharmacy
Meet the Dean
The University of Hawaii Board of Regents appointed Dr. John M. Pezzuto, Ph.D. as founding dean of the University of Hawaii at Hilo's College of Pharmacy. Dr. Pezzuto assumed his new duties on June 1, 2006. His background is perfectly matched with the objectives of the new College of Pharmacy. He has served as an administrator and researcher for many years in the areas of pharmacy, drug discovery, and natural products. Dean Pezzuto has served as Dean of the College of Pharmacy, Nursing, and Health Sciences at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana since September 2002.
Dean Pezzuto received his B.S. degree in chemistry from Rutgers University (1973), and Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (1977). He then performed two years of postdoctoral work in the Department of Chemistry at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he was the recipient of a postdoctoral fellowship from the National Cancer Institute.
Following a one-year stay at the University of Virginia, as Instructor of Chemistry, he accepted a faculty position at the University of Illinois at Chicago, (UIC) (1980). He held the rank of full professor in both the College of Pharmacy (1991-2002) and the College of Medicine (1994-2002); and he was named Distinguished University Professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago (2002). He has served as Head (1993-1995) and Interim Head (2000-2001) of the Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy in the UIC College of Pharmacy, Associate Director of the UIC Cancer Center (1991-1995), and Director of the Program for Collaborative Research in the Pharmaceutical Sciences (1995-1998), the leading research unit affiliated with the UIC College of Pharmacy. He served as Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Education, UIC College of Pharmacy (1998-2002), Deputy Director of the UIC Cancer Center (2000-2002), and Head of the Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy (2001-2002).
Dr. Pezzuto is an author of over 400 publications, co-inventor of several patents, the editor of three books, member of eleven editorial boards of international journals, the former editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Pharmacognosy (1990-1995), the former editor-in-chief of Combinatorial Chemistry and High Throughput Screening (1996-1997), and the current editor-in-chief of Pharmaceutical Biology . He is a permanent member of Subcommittee E (cancer epidemiology, prevention and control) of the National Cancer Institute (2003-2007). He was the recipient of a Research Career Development Award from the National Cancer Institute (1984-1989) and a Research Fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (1990-1991). During the period of the Humboldt fellowship, he held a research position in the Department of Pharmaceutical Biology at the University of Munich. He has directed the research of numerous doctoral students, postdoctoral associates, and visiting scholars. He was elected Senior University Scholar at UIC in 1999, and UIC Inventor of the Year in 2000.
His current research interests are predominately in the areas of biology-driven natural product drug discovery and characterization, with primary emphasis in the fields of cancer chemotherapy, cancer chemoprevention, malaria, and AIDS. He has been supported by the National Institutes of Health continuously since 1977, and currently serves as the Principal Investigator of a $6.8 million program project grant in cancer chemoprevention and Co-Investigator for an International Collaborative Biodiversity Group.
Dr. Pezzuto resides in Hilo, Hawaii, with his wife, Mimi, and their three children.