Bruce D. Roth, the inventor of Lipitor, a popular cholesterol-lowering medication, was the featured speaker at the UGA College of Pharmacy’s annual Chu Lectureship on Wednesday, March 29. Roth, who is the senior vice president of Small Molecule Drug Discovery at Genentech Research and Early Development, presented “The Discovery and Development of Lipitor: Would anyone make this molecule today?” A reception preceded the event.
In 1986, at the age of 32, Roth discovered atorvastatin, the statin-class drug sold as Lipitor, which became the largest-selling drug in pharmaceutical history at that time. For his invention, Roth received multiple awards. He earned his bachelor’s in chemistry from St. Joseph’s College in Philadelphia in 1976 and his doctorate in synthetic organic chemistry from Iowa State University in 1980. He then served as a postdoctoral fellow from 1981-82 at the University of Rochester.
The Chu Lectureship is hosted by the College of Pharmacy’s department of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences and was established to bring internationally recognized leaders in drug discovery to UGA. It honors the outstanding accomplishments and contributions of David C.K. Chu, a distinguished research professor emeritus in the College of Pharmacy. Chu has many major achievements in drug discovery, with more than 20 honors and awards for his work, has published over 300 drug discovery-related scholarly articles and owns more than 50 U.S. patents.