Skip to main content

Awards

The Robert A. Magarian Outstanding Podium Presentation Award

Past Recipients (.pdf)

Dr. Robert A. Magarian, professor emeritus of medicinal chemistry and vice chair of the Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmaceutics, College of Pharmacy, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, OK, retired on June 30, 1996 after 26 years. He had been professor of medicinal chemistry at the University of Oklahoma since 1978, having served as associate professor from 1970. Prior to joining the faculty at Oklahoma, he was assistant professor of medicinal chemistry at the St. Louis College of Pharmacy from 1967 to 1970. He was a National Institutes of Health Postdoctoral Fellow under Dr. Edward Smissman in the Department of Medicinal Chemistry, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas from 1966 to 1967.

Dr. Magarian attended the University of Mississippi where he earned a B.A. degree in Chemistry and Biology (1956); B.S. in Pharmacy (with highest honors; January, 1960); and a Ph.D. in Medicinal Chemistry (August, 1966). While an undergraduate in the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy, he was initiated as a member of the Rho Chi National Honor Society (1959); was the recipient of the Rexall Trophy Award (1959); and in 1960 he received three awards: The Merck Award, the Lehn and Fink Gold Medal Award, and Taylor Medal, the highest honor awarded by the University of Mississippi. He practiced as a pharmacist in Illinois from January 1960 to August 1961.

Dr. Magarian's research was directed at finding pure (nonestrogen) estrogen antagonists, which were effective in treating different breast cancers (hormonal and non-hormonal dependent tumors) in both pre- and postmenopausal females. His approach to investigating pure antiestrogens was multidisciplinary, involving: (1) the design and synthesis of new organic compounds; (2) the pharmacological testing of each compound; (3) testing the compounds in tissue culture assays involving breast cancer cells; (4) the use of single crystal x-ray analysis of each molecule to study its structure; and (5) molecular modeling to assist in the design of new agents.

During his career, Dr. Magarian published many articles, abstracts, review articles, and book chapters in the breast cancer area. He has ten U.S. patents on antiestrogenic and antitumor agents (di- and triarylcyclopropyl analogs) synthesized and tested in his laboratory by graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. Some of his key publications involve: "Synthesis and Biological Evaluation of a series of Pure Cyclopropyl Antiestrogens," J. Med. Chem.; "Influence of Novel Tirarylcyclopropyl Analogues on Human Breast Cancer Cells in Culture," Anti-Cancer Drugs; Anticancer research; Breast Cancer & Treatment; "Synthesis and Enantiomeric Separation of an Antitumor Agent," Anti-Cancer Drug Design; Bioorganic Chemistry; Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry; "Molecular Structures and Conformational Studies of Triarlycyclopropyl and related Non-Steroidal Antiestrogens," Acta. Cryst; J. Med. Chem.; "The Medicinal Chemistry of Nonsteroidal Antiestrogens: A Review," Current Medicinal Chemistry.

Dr. Magarian is listed in Who's Who in America; Who's Who in the Southwest; American Men and Women of Science, Chemistry; The International Who's Who of Intellectuals (Cambridge, England); and Men of Achievement (Cambridge, England). He was an Associate Editor of the international journal, Current Medicinal Chemistry. His research was supported by Mead Johnson, National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute), and the Presbyterian Health Foundation.

During his teaching career, Dr. Magarian received numerous teaching awards: the Baldwin Study-Travel Award in 1978 from the University of Oklahoma for teaching excellence, which allowed him to travel to England where he presented two papers at an international chemistry meeting held at Oxford University; the Associated Distinguished Lectureship Award from the University of Oklahoma in 1988; in 1985 the Rho Chi Society's Excellence in Teaching and Research Award; and in 1996, the Rho Chi Society Recognition Award for "Promoting Scholastic Excellence and Imparting Knowledge in Creative and Helpful Ways."

Dr. Magarian is a member of the American Chemical Society, American Association of College of Pharmacy, Sigma Xi, Phi Kappa Phi, Golden Key National Honor Society, and the Kappa Psi Pharmaceutical Fraternity. Dr. Magarian became the Executive Director of The Kappa Psi Pharmaceutical Fraternity, Inc. in January 1980, occupying that position in The Kappa Psi Central Office, College of Pharmacy, University of Oklahoma HSC until June 30, 2000. Dr. Magarian has been writing fiction since his retirement and has published two medical thrillers: "The Watchman" and "72 Hours." He is currently working on a mystery novel titled, "You’ll Never See Me Again." 

MALTO Medicinal Chemistry, OK Inc., became a not-for-profit organization in 1982 with Dr. Magarian as its president.