Kinghorn named Distinguished University Professor, Ohio State’s highest faculty honor


May 20, 2022

Dr. Kinghorn Headshot
News Story Content

A. Douglas Kinghorn, PhD, DSc, professor and Jack L. Beal Chair in the Division of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy at The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy, has been given the permanent, honorific title of Distinguished University Professor. Ohio State President Kristina Johnson, Provost Melissa Gilliam and Vice Provost Helen Malone presented the award during a College of Pharmacy executive committee meeting on May 20.

The title Distinguished University Professor is awarded by the university’s Office of Academic Affairs to full professors who have truly exceptional records in teaching, research, scholarly or creative work, and in service. Distinguished University Professors automatically become members of the President’s and Provost’s Advisory Committee. In addition, recipients are awarded a $30,000 one-time grant to support their academic work and are expected to maintain a regular program of teaching, mentorship, research, scholarly or creative work, and service.

Dr. Kinghorn is an internationally renowned leader in pharmacognosy, the discipline of natural products chemistry. He has the second longest running National Institutes of Health (NIH) program project grant on campus. It is very rare for a program project to enter a third five-year cycle. The award of ~$7.2 million for Years 11-15 of program project P01 CA125066 from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) (2020-2025) brings his total funding for this research program and the earlier related project, U19 CA52956 (Year 15, 2004-2005) as PI, to ~$23 million while at Ohio State.

Dr. Kinghorn has been funded five times since 1995 as PI of multidisciplinary, multi-institutional five-year awards from NCI. In addition, he has had significant funding since 1980 from several centers and institutes at NIH, as well as industrial contracts.


This title, which is the university’s highest honor, will join a long list of awards you have earned over the course of your impressive career. As a cancer survivor, I personally want to thank you for your steadfast work in this area, moving us closer to achieving a cancer-free world.” 

President Kristina Johnson headshot
President Kristina Johnson

College of Pharmacy Dean Henry Mann, PharmD, FCCP, FCCM, FASHP, said, “Dr. Kinghorn has been an outstanding faculty member, performing at the highest level across all areas of our mission. His presence on our faculty elevates the reputation of our college and the university, and his contributions have been global in impact.”

In addition to publishing his research in the specialized journals of his discipline, Dr. Kinghorn has also published in high-impact journals such as Nature Medicine, Science, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, Blood, and Cancer Research. His publication output now exceeds 600 (430 research articles, 60 review articles, 80 book chapters and 31 edited volumes), in addition to eight issued patents and six other patent publications.

In 2020, Dr. Kinghorn was the recipient of the Egon Stahl Award in Gold from GA (Society for Medicinal Plant and Natural Product Research) in Darmstadt, Germany. This is the top lifetime research achievement award for pharmacognosists in the world and is only awarded once every three years. His research contributions have been recognized with numerous national and international awards and his citations in Google Scholar under “pharmacognosy” rank him first among his peers in the field (over 44,900 citations, with the second ranked author having 34,700 citations, accessed May 20, 2022) with an h-index of 99 and an i-10 index of 501.

Dr. Kinghorn’s high quality teaching and mentorship are evident in the awards and recognitions he has received (two university-wide teaching awards during his tenure at University of Illinois – Chicago), his many invitations to serve as a visiting professor at universities, as well as his visiting examiner role at numerous institutions for habilitations/D.Sc. (higher doctorates), PhD dissertations, and MS degrees in a total of ten countries. He has personally supervised 50 graduate students (MS and PhD) to date. The quality and breadth of his mentoring of PhD students is evident in the success of his trainees. Many of his former students have senior positions in either academia, industry or government.

Dr. Kinghorn’s service activities are also exemplary. He has served as editor-in-chief for two prominent scientific publications in the natural products field: the Journal of Natural Products (1994-2019, emeritus editor, 2020-present ) and the book series Progress in the Chemistry of Organic Natural Products (2007-present). Since 1996, the Journal of Natural Products has been co-published by the American Chemical Society and the American Society of Pharmacognosy and has become the leading technical journal in its field. The impact factor has improved from 1.432 in 1997 to 4.257 in 2019 under his leadership. He has served on the Editorial Advisory Board of over 20 journals.


Video URL