Professor Richard B. Silverman received his B.S. degree in chemistry from The Pennsylvania State University in 1968 and his Ph.D. degree in organic chemistry from 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 the laboratory of the late Professor Robert Abeles in the Graduate Department of Biochemistry at 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 became the Charles Deering McCormick Professor of Teaching Excellence for three years, 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 acting on enzymes and receptors.
His awards include DuPont Young Faculty Fellow (1976), Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow (1981-1985), NIH Research Career Development Award (1982-1987), Fellow of the American Institute of Chemists (1985), Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (1990), Arthur C. Cope Senior Scholar Award of the American Chemical Society (2003), Alumni Fellow Award from Pennsylvania State University (2008), Medicinal Chemistry Hall of Fame of the American Chemical Society (2009), the Perkin Medal from the Society of Chemical Industry (2009), the Hall of Fame of Central High School of Philadelphia (2011), the E.B. Hershberg Award for Important Discoveries in Medicinally Active Substances from the American Chemical Society (2011), Fellow of the American Chemical Society (2011), Sato Memorial International Award of the Pharmaceutical Society of Japan (2012), Roland T. Lakey Award of Wayne State University (2013), BMS-Edward E. Smissman Award of the American Chemical Society (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 320 research and review articles, holds 49 domestic and foreign patents, and has written four books (The Organic Chemistry of Drug Design and Drug Action is translated into German and Chinese). He is the inventor of LyricaTM, a drug marketed by Pfizer for epilepsy, neuropathic pain, fibromyalgia, and spinal cord injury pain; currently, he has another CNS drug in clinical trials.