Wang honored as 2014 Distinguished University Innovator


Shaomeng Wang has been selected to receive the Distinguished University Innovator Award for 2014.

Sponsored by the Office of Research, the award honors faculty who have made important and lasting contributions to society by developing novel ideas and insights through their research, and then translating them to practice.

Shaomeng Wang

Wang is the Warner-Lambert/Parke-Davis Professor of Medicine and professor of internal medicine and pharmacology in the Medical School, and professor of medicinal chemistry in the College of Pharmacy. He also is director of the Center for Discovery of New Medicines, funded by the provost, the Medical School, the College of Pharmacy, the Life Sciences Institute, the Comprehensive Cancer Center, and Departments of Internal Medicine and Pathology and Endowment for Basic Sciences of the Medical School, to promote research, education and clinical translation of novel therapeutics.

Wang is being honored for his pioneering work in the field of drug discovery, and his efforts to bring the fruits of this work to the marketplace.

“Shaomeng Wang’s work demonstrates how groundbreaking scientific research at the University of Michigan can lead to practical applications in the marketplace,” said S. Jack Hu, interim vice president for research. “It also underscores the importance of pursuing those opportunities so that society can benefit from research discoveries made in university laboratories.”

As part of his research, Wang’s laboratory has successfully developed several classes of anticancer drugs, which are designed to specifically kill tumor cells, while leaving normal cells unharmed.

His work has led to 67 new invention disclosures resulting in 33 issued U.S. patents, and four license agreements.

Wang co-founded Ascenta Therapeutics with former faculty members Drs. Marc Lippman and Dajun Yang in 2003, and established Ascentage Pharma Group in 2009. More recently, he created OncoFusion Therapeutics with fellow faculty member Dr. Arul Chinnaiyan to develop personalized cancer therapies.

To date, Wang has advanced four novel cancer drugs into Phase I/II clinical development and several more drugs into late-stage preclinical development.

Established in 2007, the Distinguished University Innovator Award is given by the vice president for research on the recommendation of a faculty selection committee, which reviews a pool of nominees each year.

This year’s public award ceremony will take place at 4 p.m. May 1 in the Ford Amphitheatre at University Hospital. After receiving the award, Wang will deliver a lecture focusing on the innovative work that led to his achievement. A reception will follow in the Ford Lobby.


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