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University Relations

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October 28, 2005
Contact: Diane Silver, senior editor, (785) 832-7363.

KU pharmaceutical chemistry professor receives Career Teaching Award


LAWRENCE -- Ronald T. Borchardt, the Solon E. Summerfield distinguished professor of pharmaceutical chemistry at the University of Kansas, has been awarded the Chancellors Club Career Teaching Award for 2005.

The Chancellors Club, established in 1977 by the Kansas University Endowment Association, is KU's major-donor organization. The club's annual Career Teaching Award honors a senior KU faculty member who exemplifies the university's commitment to outstanding teaching. KU faculty members, students and alumni submit nominations for the $5,000 award. Borchardt receives the award tonight at the club's 28th Annual Celebration at the Holiday Inn Holidome.

Through his long career, Borchardt has won many awards for his work as a scientist, but he said the Career Teaching Award would be among his most treasured because it recognized the important role he's played as a teacher and mentor. Since joining the KU faculty in 1971, Borchardt has mentored approximately 170 graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and visiting scientists.

Borchardt said his goal when working with students is to not only help them learn sound scientific method but to also help them "think outside the box." "If you teach techniques, they will be obsolete in five years," he said. "What you do as an educator is help students learn how to think and mold them for the future."

In addition to helping prepare students for scientific careers, Borchardt has anticipated significant changes that have taken place in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry over the past two decades and developed new programs to prepare students to meet those challenges.

For example, he predicted that U.S. pharmaceutical companies would merge with foreign firms, a change that would require KU graduates to be able to work with scientists in other countries. To help prepare students for this challenge, in 1996 Borchardt launched the Globalization of Pharmaceutics Education Network, which brings together student scientists from all over the world at a biannual conference.

In the 1980s, Borchardt predicted the growing boom in biosciences and was instrumental in helping the school hire faculty and initiate programs necessary to train students to succeed in careers in biotechnology.

In a letter of recommendation, Kenneth L. Audus, dean of the KU School of Pharmacy, wrote, "Ron's accomplishments and scholarly work have moved the frontiers of pharmaceutical education forward by leading a revolution of change. He has stimulated new ways to foster graduate education in the pharmaceutical sciences and given us new approaches by which we deliver pharmaceutical education at KU. All of his efforts have first benefited students at KU and now influence the pharmaceutical sciences throughout the world."

Borchardt's career has brought him international recognition and a long list of professional awards. In 2003, he received the American Pharmaceutical Association's Takeru Higuchi Research Prize and the American Chemical Society's Smissman-Bristol-Myers Squibb Award in Medical Chemistry.

He also has received the Dolph C. Simons Sr. Research Award in the Biomedical Sciences and the Louis Byrd Graduate Educator Award, both from KU. In addition, Borchardt has received the Distinguished Pharmaceutical Scientists Award from the American Association of Pharmaceutical Sciences and the Volwiler Research Achievement Award from the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy.

In addition to his work in the classroom and the laboratory, Borchardt has served as a consultant for pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, as the president of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists and as the co-founder of ProQuest Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Borchardt has authored or co-authored approximately 490 publications and 450 abstracts and has served as the editor for eight individual books and two series of books. He is on the board of nine professional journals, and he serves as editor-in-chief of The Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences.

After receiving his bachelor's in 1967 from the University of Wisconsin and his doctoral degree from KU in 1970, he joined the KU faculty in 1971 as an assistant professor in the Department of Biochemistry. During his career at KU, Borchardt has taught in the departments of biochemistry, medicinal chemistry and pharmaceutical chemistry, a reflection of the breadth of his scientific interests. From 1991 to 1993, he served as acting dean of the School of Pharmacy, and he was the chairman of the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry from 1983 to 1998.

KU Endowment is an independent, nonprofit corporation serving as the official fund-raising and fund-management organization for the University of Kansas.

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The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus.

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