C. Richard Hutchinson (Hutch) was born in Dayton, OH (1943). He attended Ohio State University (BS, 1966) and the University of Minnesota (PhD, 1970). Following postdoctoral work at Cambridge University, England (1971), he was an Assistant Professor (Pharmacognosy, University of Connecticut, 1971-74; Medicinal Chemistry, University of Wisconsin, 1974), Associate Professor and Professor (Medicinal Chemistry and Bacteriology University of Wisconsin, 1974-2000). He retired in March 2000 to join Kosan Biosciences, Hayward, CA, as a Vice President and head of New Technologies. In 2004 he returned part-time to the University of Wisconsin, left Kosan in December 2006 and in 2007 co-founded Centrose LLC.
During his career spanning 37 years, he made major advances in the biosynthesis of naturally occurring drugs through studies of the molecular genetics and biochemistry of antibiotic production in microorganisms. Through work on the genetic manipulation of polyketide genes, his laboratory created novel metabolites, devised methods to purify and study polyketide synthase enzymes, established fermentation routes to pharmaceutically important compounds, and used genetic engineering to develop improved strains of commercially important microorganisms. He is particularly noted for combining biochemical, chemical, and genetic methods in his research. Dr. Hutchinson published over 240 papers, held numerous federal and industrial resea rch gra nts, and received many prestigious awards, including Guggenheim and Fullbright fellowships, the Charles Thom Research Achievement Award of the Society for Industrial Microbiology, the AACP Paul Dawson Biotechnology Award, the Research Achievement Award of the American Society for Pharmacognosy, and a Distinguished Alumni Award from Ohio State University.