Published May 9, 2023
On May 8, the University of Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (UB SPPS) welcomed Ann E. Weber, PhD, senior vice president, Research and Development, Kallyope Inc., as our 2023 David Chu Lecturer.
The David Chu lectureship was established in 2011 by C. K. David Chu, PhD, and his wife, Jane Chu. Chu is a distinguished research professor emeritus of pharmaceutical and biomedical sciences at the College of Pharmacy, University of Georgia. He earned a PhD in medicinal chemistry from UB in 1975. During his 40-year career he trained more than 130 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows and has maintained an active research program in drug design and synthesis since retiring in 2008.
Weber’s presentation was titled There and Back Again: Therapies for the Treatment of Obesity and Diabetes and her visit included meetings with pharmaceutical sciences faculty, post docs and students.
She earned her PhD from Harvard University studying synthetic organic chemistry and her research interests include the design and synthesis of ligands for G-protein coupled receptors, ion channels and enzymes. Weber’s work has led to several marketed medications including JANUVIA® (sitagliptin), a treatment for patients with Type 2 diabetes, JANUMET®, a fixed dose combination of sitagliptin and metformin, MARIZEV® (omarigliptin), a once-weekly treatment for Type 2 diabetes approved in Japan and GEMTESA® (vibegron) for the treatment of overactive bladder.
In her previous roles at Kallyope, Inc., Weber was the head of Drug Discovery and also served as head of Preclinical Development. She was formerly vice president, Lead Optimization Chemistry at Merck Research Laboratories (MRL) and was responsible for the discovery of innovative therapeutic agents across disease areas.
Weber is the author or co-author of over 90 publications and co-inventor on over 35 issued U.S. patents. She has received numerous awards including the Robert M. Scarborough Award for Excellence in Medicinal Chemistry (American Chemistry Society (ACS)), the Heroes of Chemistry Award (ACS), the Discoverer's Award (PhRMA) recognizing scientists whose work has been of special benefit to humankind and a Directors’ Award, the highest honor Merck confers on employees. She is a 2013 Liberty Science Center Women in STEM Honoree and a 2015 recipient of the Gift of Mentoring Award, Metro Women Chemists Committee. She also received the Award for Creativity in Molecular Design and Synthesis (ACS) and the Perkin Medal (Society of Chemical Industry, American Section), considered the highest honor given in the U.S. chemical industry. She was named to the Medicinal Chemistry Hall of Fame (ACS) and is an ACS Fellow.
Weber is passionate about advancing women in science and is a past member of the ACS Women Chemists Committee. She also serves on the University of Notre Dame College of Science Advisory Council and Berthiaume Institute for Precision Health Advisory Board.