Chens Pledge $2.5M Chair to Honor Dr. Sylvan G. Frank

Dr. Sylvan G. Frank
Dr. Sylvan G. Frank

Virginia and Chih-Ming Chen (PhD ’81) and the CM Chen Foundation have committed $2.5 million to create the Sylvan G. Frank Chair in Pharmaceutics and Drug Delivery Systems. This gift, the largest in college history, honors the important role that Frank and The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy played in Chih-Ming Chen’s life.

When endowed, the fund will support a distinguished faculty member in the Division of Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Sylvan Frank, PhD, Associate Dean for Professional Programs, will retire in June having completed 43 years at the college. Prior to the Chen’s gift, the late Dr. Jack L. Beal was the only pharmacy faculty member to have an endowed chair named in his honor.

Commenting on his gratitude for his mentor, Chen recalled the day he asked Dr. Frank if he would become his advisor, “I was so unsure and was afraid that you might say no. To my surprise, you accepted me right away on the spot. That moment changed my course at Ohio State. During the years in the labs, you gave me a lot of freedom so I could search and find my passion in the science of drug delivery systems. … From the bottom of my heart, I’d like to thank you, thank you, and thank you.”

After graduating from Ohio State in December 1981, Chen went on to work at Bristol Laboratories, Berlex Laboratories, and Ivax. After a decade in the pharmaceutical industry, he became a successful entrepreneur and was involved in founding of ASAN Laboratories, Andrx Corporation, Anchen Pharmaceuticals, and most recently, TWi Pharmaceuticals, where he currently serves as chairman.  Chih-Ming and Virginia reside in Taiwan with their daughter, Angelina. Through the CM Chen Foundation, the Chens are among the most generous donors to The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy.

Surprised with the announcement of this gift at a recent faculty retirement ceremony, Dr. Frank exclaimed, “He was a wonderful student. It was a great 3.5 years.” 

He continued, “There’s nothing like seeing your graduate students succeed, to be a small part of their lives and be appreciated.  But to have a chair is just an incredible honor.  I am very humbled by the Chens’s incredible investment in creating the opportunity for The Ohio State University to become the world leaders in the development and evaluation of drug-delivery systems with wide-ranging benefits for world health care now and for a long time to come. That is a wonderful legacy.”