UW Today

April 6, 2011

School of Pharmacy dean emeritus honored for research excellence

UW Health Sciences/UW Medicine

The American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) has honored the UW’s Sid Nelson for his outstanding research and contributions to the field of pharmaceutical sciences. Nelson, professor of medicinal chemistry and dean emeritus at the School of Pharmacy, will receive the prestigious Volwiler Research Achievement Award in July at the AACP Annual Meeting in San Antonio, Texas.

Dr. Sid Nelson, dean emeritus, School of Pharmacy

Dr. Sid Nelson, dean emeritus, School of Pharmacy

Nelson is internationally renowned for his groundbreaking research in the elucidation of chemical and biochemical mechanisms. In addition, during his 13-year tenure as dean, he helped the UW School of Pharmacy achieve national prominence in its research activities and its Pharm.D. program. Under his leadership, the school secured a top ranking in National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding among pharmacy schools, and the Pharm.D. program became renowned for its innovative curriculum, programs and outreach efforts.

“I have great respect for Sid’s many scientific accomplishments,” said Dean Thomas Baillie who served on faculty with Nelson in the Department of Medicinal Chemistry for several years. “Further, I am impressed by the strong group of students, faculty and researchers he helped build during his time as dean. He left behind a legacy of a school with remarkable didactic and research programs.”

Two of Nelson’s primary research interests are determining the mechanisms of formation and disposition of reactive drug metabolites and investigating the effects of protein-protein interactions on structure/function relationships of drug-metabolizing enzymes. His pioneering translational research has resulted in 221 peer-reviewed articles and 48 invited reviews and book chapters. His studies have also led to a heightened understanding of how reactive drug metabolites are formed and how they react with cellular molecules to cause toxicities. The result has been the development of safer medications.

“Dr. Nelson is not only known for his incredible contributions to pharmaceutical education, but for his leadership and mentorship to advance research that is vital to the academic community,” said Lucinda Maine, AACP executive vice president and CEO. “It is an honor to present him with this award.”

Nelson has a B.S. in pharmacy from UW and a Ph.D. in medicinal chemistry from the University of California, San Francisco. In recent years, he has held an NIH fellowship to conduct research in metabolomics/metabonomics at Imperial College London and he was named a National University of Singapore distinguished professor.

Nelson has been awarded two patents and has received the John J. Abel Award from the American Society of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. He was also co-recipient of the Frank R. Blood Award in Toxicology from the Society of Toxicology.

His commitment to the education and professional development of students has been recognized twice with a UW School of Pharmacy Gibaldi Excellence in Teaching Award.

His peers honored him with the UW School of Pharmacy’s Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1990. UW students successfully nominated him for the Outstanding Dean Award from the American Pharmacists Association – Academy of Student Pharmacists in 2007.

The Volwiler Research Achievement Award consists of a gold medal and a monetary prize and was established in honor of the late Ernest H. Volwiler, Abbott Laboratories former president and research director. AACP is a national organization representing the interests of pharmacy education and educators. It comprises 124 accredited colleges and schools of pharmacy, including more than 6,190 faculty, 54,700 students enrolled in professional programs and 5,400 individuals pursuing graduate study.