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February 23, 2022 View/share from our web page

Award honors chemist for fight to beat cancer, save lives

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Philip Low, the Presidential Scholar for Drug Discovery and the Ralph C. Corley Distinguished Professor of Chemistry in the College of Science at Purdue University, is an expert in drug discovery. (Purdue University photo/John Underwood.) Download image

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue University’s Philip Low continues to be celebrated for his lifesaving drug discovery work in fighting cancer.

Low, the Presidential Scholar for Drug Discovery and the Ralph C. Corley Distinguished Professor of Chemistry in the College of Science at Purdue, recently won the highly prestigious Gustavus John Esselen Award for Chemistry in the Public Interest, presented by the Northeastern Section of the American Chemical Society. The annual award recognizes scientific and technical work that contributes to public well-being and emphasizes the value of chemistry as a profession.

Not a pharmaceutical scientist by training, Low uses his expertise in chemistry to approach and address medical conditions, especially in his work with the Purdue Center for Cancer Research.

“Once I started looking at medical problems, I realized that we were uniquely positioned to design highly innovative approaches on ways we could reduce many causes of mortality and morbidity in humans,” Low said. “I have applied these tools to develop drugs to treat a wide diversity of human diseases because there are so many ways we can help people. It’s hard to say no.”

Low has started seven companies and developed drugs to treat cancer, malaria and other infectious diseases, autoimmune disease, fibrotic disease and broken bones. Most of his discoveries involve using the chemistry of diseases against them to specifically target the errant tissue and help heal healthy tissue, resulting in highly effective treatments with lower toxicity and fewer side effects. He has developed ways to highlight tumors during surgery, discovered a cancer drug that is 100% effective at treating malaria, designed targeted therapeutics for infectious and immune diseases and developed a targeted treatment for bone fractures that help them heal stronger and faster.

Low is looking forward to patenting and developing more drugs to help patients with cancer and other diseases.

About Purdue University

Purdue University is a top public research institution developing practical solutions to today’s toughest challenges. Ranked in each of the last four years as one of the 10 Most Innovative universities in the United States by U.S. News & World Report, Purdue delivers world-changing research and out-of-this-world discovery. Committed to hands-on and online, real-world learning, Purdue offers a transformative education to all. Committed to affordability and accessibility, Purdue has frozen tuition and most fees at 2012-13 levels, enabling more students than ever to graduate debt-free. See how Purdue never stops in the persistent pursuit of the next giant leap at https://purdue.edu/.

Writer, Media contact: Brittany Steff, bsteff@purdue.edu

Source: Philip Low, plow@purdue.edu