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Mesecar appointed Distinguished Professor Biochemistry

Purdue University’s Board of Trustees has approved College of Agriculture Professor Andrew Mesecar’s nomination to the position of Distinguished Professor of Biochemistry.  This honor is awarded to outstandingly original, creative and productive faculty whose achievements in discovery and learning have been internationally recognized and who have made a distinctive contribution to the university through discovery, learning and/or engagement. 

In nominating Mesecar, Karen Plaut, the Glenn W. Sample Dean of Agriculture, wrote: “Dr. Mesecar is a great scientist and role model for students and faculty. His students have been successful as scientists, physicians and lawyers across the country. The timeliness of his research is also clear. Dr. Mesecar has been a national and international leader in providing the basic knowledge necessary to develop anti‐virals for SARS‐CoV‐2 (COVID ‐19) and has developed novel anti‐viral molecules with industry partners to combat the virus. At the same time, he continued as Associate Director of the Purdue Center for Cancer Research and Head of the Department of Biochemistry.”

Mesecar, who earned his undergraduate degree from Purdue and his doctoral degree from the University of Notre Dame, is currently serving as the interim director of the Purdue Center for Cancer Research and also holds the position of the Walther Professor of Cancer Structural Biology.  

In acknowledging the honor, Mesecar paid tribute to all with whom he’s worked and who have supported him. “This recognition should really be shared with all my graduate students, post-docs, staff and collaborators over the past 20 years who have worked so hard and have produced some amazing scientific discoveries. I also have to give a huge shout out to my family and colleagues for all of their fantastic support over the years.”

James Forney, professor and chair of the biochemistry awards committee, documented the committee’s endorsement in a letter to Dean Plaut.

“Dr. Mesecar is an established leader in elucidating the molecular mechanisms and functions of key enzymes implicated in health and disease. His publications have influenced the direction of research in a wide range of fields with the seminal impacts in the fields of cancer prevention and coronaviruses, including SARS-CoV-2 which caused the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on his strong record of publication, excellent extramural funding, outstanding letters from leaders in his field and the full support of the Department of Biochemistry primary committee I enthusiastically support the nomination of Andrew Mesecar for Distinguished Professor.”

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