Indiana University Bloomington

IU's DiMarchi to be inducted into U.S. Patent Office's Inventors Hall of Fame

Professor of chemistry recognized for his work on designer insulin

  • March 4, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University Distinguished Professor of Chemistry Richard DiMarchi has been named an inductee into the National Inventors Hall of Fame for his work on the drug Humalog, a synthetic analog of the human hormone glucagon that has been used by millions around the world to address the complications of diabetes.

The Jack and Linda Gill Distinguished Chair at the IU Bloomington College of Arts and Sciences’ Gill Center for Biomolecular Science and professor and chair of the College’s Department of Chemistry, DiMarchi is among a class of 11 inductees announced today by the National Inventors Hall of Fame in partnership with the U.S. Department of Commerce’s United States Patent and Trademark Office.

The National Inventors Hall of Fame was established in 1973 to honor the individuals who have conceived, patented and advanced great technological achievements. The criteria for induction requires candidates to hold a U.S. patent that has contributed significantly to the nation's welfare and the advancement of science and useful arts. DiMarchi joins a list of past inductees that includes Eli Whitney, Thomas Edison, Orville and Wilbur Wright, Henry Ford, Albert Einstein, George Eastman, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and John Harvey Kellogg.

IU College of Arts and Sciences Dean Larry Singell lauded DiMarchi for both a deep intellect that has positively affected the lives of millions and for being a unique educator and mentor.

"Richard has a rare ability to ask and answer deep scientific questions and to translate scientific discoveries into products that benefit millions of people every day," Singell said. "Moreover, he has a special gift for teaching the next generation of big problem solvers, ensuring that his scientific legacy continues to grow.

“His work demonstrates the ‘art of science’ in the College and the power of the liberal arts in the world. On behalf of his colleagues and students, I congratulate Richard on his induction into the National Inventors Hall of Fame."  

DiMarchi earned a Ph.D. in chemistry from IU Bloomington and then went on to a 24-year career at Lilly Research Labs, eventually running one of the world’s largest and most successful biotechnology laboratories before leaving as vice president of biotechnology and product development and returning to IU in 2003. He has 111 patents, co-authored over 135 scientific papers, led development of five new Eli Lilly medicines and founded the IU-licensed Marcadia Biotech, which was eventually purchased by Roche for a reported $537 million.

Considered one of the leading peptide chemists in the world, DiMarchi has also been honored with the 2012 Phillip E. Nelson Innovation Award; the 2011 American Peptide Society Merrifield Award; the 2009 Watanabe Award for Life Sciences Research; the 2007 Carothers Award for Excellence in Polymer Sciences; the 2006 American Chemical Society Barnes Award for Leadership in Chemical Research Management; the 2006 ACS Esselen Award for Chemistry in the Service of Public Interest; and the 2005 American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists Career Research Achievement Award in Biotechnology.

His induction recognizes his discovery and development of rDNA-derived Humalog (LisPro-human insulin), a designer insulin that represents the first demonstration that structurally altered rDNA-derived biosynthetic proteins can improve pharmacological performance without increasing the risk of an abnormal immunological response.

The entire class of new inductees will be honored during a special induction ceremony scheduled for May 21 at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Richard DiMarchi

IU Distinguished Professor Richard DiMarchi

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