Dr. Laurence H. Hurley - Doctor of Science

May 2013  


Lawrence H. Hurley

Lawrence H. hurley 
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Dr. Laurence H. Hurley was born in 1944 in Birmingham, England. He received his BPharm with honors in 1967 from Bath University and his PhD in medicinal chemistry in 1970 from Purdue. He has served on the faculties at the University of Maryland, the University of Kentucky and the University of Texas at Austin. In 2000, Hurley joined the University of Arizona as the Howard J. Schaeffer Chair in Pharmaceutical Sciences. He is the scientific founder of Cylene Pharmaceuticals, from 1998 to 2006, and of TetraGene, from 2012 to the present. 

Hurley’s current research interests are in the areas of design and development of antitumor agents. In the past 20 years, work from his laboratory has led to elucidation of the structures of the drug-receptor complexes for seven different groups of compounds that are potentially useful in the treatment of cancer. 

In cooperation with the biopharmaceutical industry, several drugs developed from these studies have been evaluated in phase I and phase II clinical trials, and one is now approved for cancer treatment. Recently, his academic research program has centered on secondary DNA structures, particularly G-quadruplexes, as gene targets for drug design. A first-in-class G-quadruplex-interactive compound (Quarfloxin), developed from technology and a lead compound licensed from the University of Arizona and The University of Texas, was advanced into phase II clinical trials in 2006 while Hurley was the chief scientific officer at Cylene Pharmaceuticals. 

Hurley has been a consultant to pharmaceutical companies and was a senior editor for the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, 1992 to 2010. He was also a member and then chair of the National Cancer Institute Scientific Board of Councilors, 2008 to 2012. 

Hurley has received the 1988 George Hitchings Award in Innovative Methods in Drug Design, the 1989 Volwiler Research Achievement Award from the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, the 1992 American Pharmacists Association Research Achievement Award in Medicinal Chemistry and the 1994 American Chemical Society Medicinal Chemistry Award. In 1996, he was awarded a DSc degree from Bath University. In 2005, he received the George and Christine Sosnovsky Award in Cancer Therapy from the Royal Society of Chemistry. In 2007, he was inducted into the American Chemical Society Medicinal Chemistry Hall of Fame and named Innovator of the Year by the University of Arizona. In 2008, Hurley received the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy’s Paul R. Dawson Biotechnology Award, and in 2011 he was the recipient of the Nucleic Acids Award by the Royal Society for Chemistry. 

He is the recipient of a number of lectureships, including the 2001 Frank Rose Memorial Lecture at the British Association for Cancer Research; the 2007 Mary E. Kapp Lecturer in Chemistry, Virginia Commonwealth University; and the 2012 Hecht Lecturer at the University of Virginia.

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