Ruffolo to Present the 2013 Chauncey D. Leake Lecture

Daniel Helfand

Robert R. Ruffolo Jr.  Robert R. Ruffolo Jr., Ph.D., D.Sc.(h), D.Eng.(h), FCCP, the retired president of research and development at Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, will be the speaker for the Chauncey D. Leake Lecture on Friday, May 31, 2013, at 10 a.m. in 250 Parks Hall. His lecture will be entitled, “The drug discovery and development process: A case study with carvedilol for the treatment of heart failure.”

The Chauncey D. Leake Lecture is an annual event in recognition of Dr. Leake, an internationally known pharmacologist and medical historian. The Leake Lectures honor his memory by bringing leaders of scientific endeavors to share their experiences and expertise with students.

Ruffolo graduated from Ohio State with a B.S. in pharmacy in 1973 and again in 1976 with a Ph.D. in pharmacology. He went on to work at the National Institutes of Health, Eli Lilly & Co., SmithKline Beecham, and finally joined Wyeth Pharmaceuticals in 2000 and was promoted to head of research and development in 2002.

Over the course of his career, Ruffolo aided in the discovery and/or development of several marketed products, including drugs for the treatment of congestive heart failure, acute myocardial infarction, hypertension and Parkinson’s disease.

"I am honored to be presenting the Chauncey D. Leake Lecture at The Ohio State University,” said Ruffolo. “Dr. Leake's legacy at Ohio State, and his indelible impact on the field of Pharmacology, makes presenting a lecture in his name all the more meaningful to me."

After the Leake Lecture, the Chauncey D. Leake Memorial Award will be presented to Bitna Yi and Elizabeth Barrie. The Leake Memorial Award has been presented annually since 1978 to outstanding graduate students doing pharmacological research in the College of Pharmacy, Medicine or Veterinary Medicine. The selection of the award winners is made based on research papers submitted by students to a committee.

Bitna Yi earned her B.S. and M.S. in pharmacy in Seoul, South Korea before coming to Ohio State in 2009 to pursue her Ph.D. in pharmacology. Her current research investigates the roles of neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in drug addiction. Her winning research paper submission was entitled, “Discovery of Benzamide Analogs as Negative Allosteric Modulators of Human Neuronal Nicotinic Receptors: Pharmacophore Modeling and Structure-Activity Relationship Studies.”

Elizabeth Barrie earned her B.S. in biology from Case Western Reserve University before coming to Ohio State for her Ph.D. in biomedical science. Her current research focuses on genetic regulation of dopamine-related genes including DBH, COMT, SNCA and SNCAIP. She submitted a research paper entitled, “Regulatory polymorphisms in the gene encoding dopamine beta-hydroxylase (DBH) affect transcription and mRNA transport,” for the award.

We welcome students, faculty and alumni to attend and help us celebrate the legacy of Dr. Leake through Dr. Ruffolo’s lecture and the presentation of award funds to Bitna Yi and Elizabeth Barrie.