2008 UW Honorary Citation Report – Rich

Citation recipient Dr. Dan Rich with Dean Jeanette Roberts

Citation recipient Dr. Dan Rich (left) with Dean Jeanette Roberts (right)

Daniel H. Rich received his BS degree in chemistry in 1964 from the University of Minnesota and his PhD in organic chemistry in 1967 from Cornell University. He held postdoctoral appointments at Cornell and at Stanford University before joining the faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Pharmacy in 1970. He was promoted during his 37-plus year career at the UW-Madison to professor of medicinal chemistry and held an affiliate appointment as a professor with the Department of Chemistry. He served as assistant dean of graduate studies from 1976-1980 and, in February 2005, was appointed associate dean for research and graduate studies.

Rich’s research focused on the synthesis and conformational analysis of cyclic peptides and the design and synthesis of inhibitors of therapeutically important enzymes. His pioneering work in the aspartic protease field laid the groundwork for the development of the HIV protease inhibitors used to treat HIV infections and AIDS and opened up a new arena of research in medicinal chemistry. He has published well over 250 articles and trained 35 PhD and 100 postdoctoral associates, many of whom have risen to leadership positions in the pharmaceutical industry.

Rich has been recognized with many awards for his research and teaching accomplishments, including the Vincent du Vigneaud, ACS Division of Medicinal Chemistry Research Achievement Award of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists; the George Herbert Hitchings Award for Innovative Methods in the Design and Discovery of Drugs; the ACS Ralph F. Hirschmann Award in Peptide Chemistry; a WARF University Professorship; the E. Volwiler Research Achievement Award from the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy; the Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award from the American Chemical Society; the R. Bruce Merrifield Award from the American Peptide Society and the E. Smissman Award from the ACS Division of Medicinal Chemistry. He also was the first member of the ACS Division of Medicinal Chemistry Hall of Fame. He has been awarded an Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award from his alma mater, the University of Minnesota, and has been selected as Teacher of the Year by students at the UW-Madison School of Pharmacy.

Rich has presented numerous invited lectures both nationally and internationally and served as a consultant in drug design and discovery, especially in the area of design of protease inhibitors for all of the major pharmaceutical companies. He is the author or co-author of more than 250 publications in the fields of synthesis, conformation and mechanism of biologically active peptides and design of enzyme inhibitors.

He has demonstrated exceptional leadership skills in administrative roles at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and as president of the American Peptide Symposium. Other professional involvement includes membership and service as chair in the bioorganic and natural products study section for NIH, as associate editor for the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry and as an active member within the Medicinal Chemistry Division of the American Chemical Society.

Rich retired in July 2006, leaving an extraordinary legacy, and his accomplishments will not soon be matched nor surpassed.