Innovative Cancer Researcher to Speak at Baylor

April 1, 2008
News Photo 4422Dr. Bob Pettit. Photo courtesy of Arizona State University.

Baylor University's College of Arts and Sciences, in conjunction with the department of chemistry and biochemistry, will welcome Dr. George Pettit, Regents Professor in the department of chemistry and biochemistry at Arizona State University, as the inaugural lecturer for the W. Dial Black Family Lectures. The lecture begins at 4 p.m. Tuesday, April 22, in room B.110 of the Baylor Sciences Building. The lecture is free and open to the public.

The lecture - "From an African Tree to Cancer and Blindness Clinical Trials" - will focus on Pettit's work on the discovery and development of effective anticancer drugs from natural sources. As a pioneer in natural products drug discovery, Pettit was among the first to explore the realm of marine animals as a source of potential antitumor medications.

Pettit holds a bachelor's degree in chemistry from Washington State University, a master's in heterocyclic chemistry and a doctorate in steroid chemistry, both from Wayne State University. Known for his dedication to the field, Pettit has built a career around improving the treatment and quality of life of cancer patients. He holds more than 50 patents on anticancer compounds and has authored more than 700 research articles along with numerous books on naturally occurring anticancer agents from marine animals, plants and arthropods.

Among his many awards and honors, Pettit has received the Chemical Pioneer Award from the American Institute of Chemists, the State of Arizona Governor's Excellence Award, the Research Achievement Award by the American Society of Pharmacognosy and the Ernest Guenther Award in the Chemistry of Natural Products from the American Chemical Society. A special issue of the Journal of Natural Products is being dedicated to Pettit's contributions to the field. He also was recognized by the National Cancer Institute as an Outstanding Investigator for his contributions to anticancer drug discovery.

The W. Dial Black Family Lectures were established by two-time cancer survivor, Baylor graduate and former Baylor professor, Sadie Jo Black. The lecture series brings to Baylor preeminent scientists whose research works towards the treatment and cures for cancer, Parkinson's disease and other major diseases.

For more information, contact Dr. Pinney at (254) 710-4117.

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