Charon Robin Ganellin

Professor C.Robin Ganellin obtained a first class Honours Degree in organic chemistry from the University of London (Queen Mary College) and in 1958 he was awarded a PhD under the supervision of Professor Michael Dewar. Then Robin joined Smith Kline French (SK&F) as a medicinal chemist, and from 1966 collaborated with Sir James Black and led the chemical research for the discovery of the H2-receptor antagonists. The role of Robin in this discovery was huge. It was Robin’s understanding and application of physical organic chemistry that led to the design and sequencing of drugs from burimamide, to metiamide and finally to cimetidine (Tagamet®), which has revolutionised the treatment of peptic ulcer disease. Robin was also involved in the design of other histamine ligands such as oxmetidine, zolantidine and temelastine. Robin was instrumental in establishing the use of the agonists dimaprit and impromidine, and identified compounds for use as chemical controls in histamine pharmacology. Robin is noted for being a scientist who has an idea, concentrates on it and then finally comes up with the solution. He subsequently became Vice-President for Research at the company’s Welwyn facility. In 1986 he was awarded a DSc from London University for his published work on the medicinal chemistry of histaminergic drugs, and was made a Fellow of the Royal Society. He was then appointed to the SK&F Chair of Medicinal Chemistry at University College London, where he is now Emeritus Professor of Medicinal Chemistry. He is the author or co-author of over 260 scientific publications and named co-inventor on over 160 US patents. Professor Ganellin has received international recognition as a medicinal chemist, including the Royal Society of Chemistry Award for Medicinal Chemistry (1977), their Tilden Medal and Lectureship (1982) and their Adrien Albert Medal and Lectureship (1999), Le Prix Charles Mentzer de France (1978), the ACS Division of Medicinal Chemistry Award (1980), the Society of Chemical Industry Messsel Medal (1988), the Society for Drug Research Award for Drug Discovery (1989), the Nauta Prize for Pharmacochemistry (2004) from the European Federation for Medicinal Chemistry, and the Pratesi Gold Medal from the Medicinal Chemistry Division of the Societa Chimica Italiana (2006). He has also been elected into the US National Inventors Hall of Fame (1990). He was elected as a Fellow of QMW College, London (1992) and awarded an Honorary DSc by Aston University in 1995.