Professor János Fischer has been awarded the status of Emeritus Fellow in the Chemistry and Human Health Division (Division VII). This 2023 appointment reflects his standing as a scientist and continuing service to our division and to the Union.
János Fischer is a Senior Research Scientist at GEDEON RICHTER Plc, Budapest, Hungary. In 1964 he received a MSc degree in organic chemistry from the Eötvös University of Budapest under the direction of Professor Árpád Kucsman. He synthesized and studied N-acyl-sulphilimines. This research work elucidated the IR spectra of sulphilimines and afforded an article in the journal Tetrahedron in 1966. He worked between 1964-1980 in EGYT (its name changed to EGIS) in drug research. Based on a dissertation on the aldol reactions of glyoxylic acid he received the PhD title of the Eötvös University in 1966. Later his research focused on lipid lowering clofibrate analogues. A dibenzo[d,g][1,3]dioxocin derivative was selected for development, but its toxicology prohibited its clinical investigation. Between 1976 and 1978 János received a Humboldt-fellowship at the university of Bonn under the mentorship of Professor Wolfgang Steglich. He investigated the stereochemistry of 1,1-cycloadditions of nitrile ylides to C=C double bonds and rearrangements in oxazole series. Three publications resulted from this research in prestigious journals: Angewandte Chemie (1979), Tetrahedron (1986), and Chemische Berichte (1988). After the Humboldt-fellowship he was engaged in process development of the short-acting ACE-inhibitor captopril to afford a successful antihypertensive drug in Hungary. In 1981 he accepted a position at GEDEON RICHTER Plc, where he worked out a new process for long-acting ACE-inhibitors (enalapril and lisinopril) and also prepared their new furanone derivatives. Another successful process development afforded amlodipine besylate, a calcium antagonist, which was introduced in Hungary. Several analogue-based drug research has been carried out by the teams under his leadership (e.g. from valdecoxib, celecoxib and rimonabant), but their development was not possible because of clinical side effects of the parent compounds. János is author of some 100 patents and research articles. He received an honorary professorship at the Technical University of Budapest (BME).
János began his IUPAC activity as National Representative (NR) in 1998 based on the proposal of the Hungarian National Adhering Organization (NAO) under the chairmanship of Professor Ernő Pungor. Soon afterwards he was invited by Professor Camille Georges Wermuth (France) to participate in the Medicinal Chemistry Section, followed by the Subcommittee on Drug Discovery and Development (SC-D3). The professional and inspiring atmosphere of this group is characterized by excellent experts and inventors, e.g. Professor Robin Ganellin (UK) who chaired this group for several years, Per Lindberg (Sweden), Giovanni Gaviraghi (Italy), Jan Heeres (Belgium), Jörg Senn-Bilfinger (Germany), Paul W. Erhardt (USA) and many others. Their inspiration helped him to establish projects on analogue-based drug discovery (ABDD). These IUPAC projects resulted in three books published by Wiley-VCH between 2006-2013. He co-edited these books with Professor Robin Ganellin and Professor David Rotella (USA) and was a co-author of some chapters in this book series, including Optimizing Drug Therapy by Analogues, Standalone Drugs and Pioneer and Analogue Drugs. Building upon the success of this series, he edited a new book series under the title Successful Drug Discovery (SDD) which had a broader scope including both pioneer and analogue drugs with small molecules, peptide- and protein-based scaffolds. Five volumes were published between 2015-2021 and were well received by the scientific community. Several universities use these books in teaching. Each volume was supported by IUPAC as project.
János also worked as elected member (Titular or Associate Member) in the Chemistry and Human Health Division (Division VII) and in the Committee on Chemistry and Industry (COCI). He initiated the IUPAC-Richter Prize in Medicinal Chemistry. Nine awards have been given at international conferences in Europe and in USA to date, and this prize has become one of the prestigious awards in medicinal chemistry and drug discovery. He also initiated the IUPAC-ThalesNano Prize for Flow Chemistry during his COCI activity. Last but not least he chaired eight face-to-face SC-D3 meetings for four years between 2014-2017 including a summer school in Rio de Janeiro (2015). His editorial activity continues as series editor of a new collection entitled “Trends in Drug Discovery”, whose first volume is planned to appear in 2023. It is an honour and great pleasure for him to have served in IUPAC for 25 years.
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