Rick Silverman

  • John Evans Professor of Chemistry
  • Professor, Chemistry, Weinberg College of Arts & Sciences

Professor Silverman received his B.S. degree in chemistry (Pennsylvania State University) in 1968 and his Ph.D. degree in organic chemistry (Harvard University) in 1974 (with time off for a two-year military obligation from 1969-1971). After two years as a NIH postdoctoral fellow in biochemistry (Robert Abeles, Brandeis University), he joined the chemistry faculty at Northwestern University. In 1986 he became Professor of Chemistry and Professor of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Cell Biology. In 2001 he was named the Charles Deering McCormick Professor of Teaching Excellence, and since 2004 he has been the John Evans Professor of Chemistry.

His research can be summarized as investigations of the molecular mechanisms of action, rational design, and syntheses of potential medicinal agents.

His recent awards include Arthur C. Cope Senior Scholar Award of the American Chemical Society (ACS) (2003), Alumni Fellow Award from Pennsylvania State University (2008), Medicinal Chemistry Hall of Fame of the ACS (2009), the Perkin Medal (2009), the E.B. Hershberg Award for Important Discoveries in Medicinally Active Substances from the ACS (2011), Fellow of the ACS (2011), Alumni Hall of Fame, Central High School of Philadelphia (2011), Sato Memorial International Award of the Pharmaceutical Society of Japan (2012), Roland T. Lakey Award of Wayne State University (2013), BMS-Smissman Award of the ACS (2013), the Centenary Prize of the Royal Society of Chemistry (2013), and the Excellence in Medicinal Chemistry Prize of the Israel Chemical Society (2014).

Professor Silverman has published over 315 research articles, holds 48 domestic and foreign patents, and has written four books (The Organic Chemistry of Drug Design and Drug Action translated into German and Chinese). He is the inventor of LyricaTM, a drug marketed by Pfizer since 2005 for epilepsy, neuropathic pain, and fibromyalgia; currently he has completed Phase I clinical trials of another drug for infantile spasms.