As per February 2018 the name of the award became: “The Nauta Pharmacochemistry Award for Medicinal Chemistry and Chemical Biology”
From means received from his widow the Prof. Dr. W. Th Nauta Stichting was founded; this foundation enabled the EFMC to award the bi-annual W. Th. Nauta prize, presented for the first time in 1992.
Winners of the Nauta Pharmacochemistry Award
The first Nauta Award was presented to Arne Olof Brändström (AstraZeneca, Sweden) for his important contributions to the inventions which led to innovative and successful medicines, especially for his role in the development of the first proton pump inhibitor omeprazole. The ceremony for the presentation took place at the International symposium on Medicinal Chemistry (ISMC) in Basel, Switzerland, September 1992.
The winner of the second Nauta Award was Maurice Petitou (Sanofi, France), for pioneering studies in the field of heparin, leading to the development of low molecular weight heparin and the discovery of synthetic pentasaccharides with exceptionally high, selective blood anticoagulant activity. Dr. Petitou received the prize at a ceremony during the ISMC in Paris, France, September 1994.
As the awardee of the third Nauta Award was Povl Krogsgaard Larsen (Royal Danisch School of Pharmacy, Denmark). The prize did recognize the important research in the field of neuromedicinal chemistry leading to the development of the first specific GABA uptake inhibitor, the first specific GABA receptor agonist, as well as potent cholinergic receptor -ligands. The jury praised the ingenious applications of a wide variety of experimental techniques. aiming at pharmacological tools and useful medicines, Prof Krogsgaard Larsen received the award during the ISMC in Maastricht, the Netherlands, and September 1996.
In 1998 Henk Timmerman (VU University, The Netherlands) was elected as the winner of the fourth Nauta Award. The jury mentioned his excellent work on the medicinal chemistry of histamine receptors, including the characterisation of different histamine receptors, synthesis of new ligands, applying a variety of techniques, including molecular biology approaches. The jury also noted his initiating and stimulating role in teaching medicinal chemistry and in organising conferences and creating mutual rewarding relationships between academia and industry. The award was presented during the ISMC in Edinburgh, Scotland, September 1998.
The fifth award was presented to Erik de Clercq (Rega Institute, University Leuven, Belgium). The jury especially mentioned his pivotal role in a very large series of excellent, original and interesting studies on the relationships between chemical structure and antiviral activities, including anti HIV derivatives, leading to important novel drugs, as brivudin (variacellazoster infections) and cidofovir ( cytomegalovirus infections in AIDS). The jury especially mentioned the development of novel therapeutic strategies to combat viral infections, using results of molecular biology approaches in his studies Prof. De Clercq received the award at a ceremony during the ISMC in Bologna, Italy, September 2000.
In 2002 the sixth awardee has been Bernard Testa (Universit� de Lausanne, Switzerland).The prize was given for the numerous and excellent contributions of the winner to the advancement of pharmaceutical sciences and medicinal chemistry in particular, both as teacher and as researcher. The jury especially mentioned his achievements in understanding the role of physiochemical properties in drug activity, more precisely in the disposition of medicines. Prof.Testa received his prize at the ISMC in Barcelona, Spain, September 2002.
The winner in 2004 was Robin Ganellin (University College, London, England). The jury mentioned in the consideration the important contributions to medicinal chemistry in general, and the development of histaminergic ligands especially, as well as his efforts to promote internationally medicinal chemistry as a chemical discipline. The prize was presented to Prof. Ganellin during the ISMC in Copenhagen, Denmark. August 2004
As the winner of the seventh award Philip Portoghese (University of Minnesota, USA) was elected.The award was given for the many contributions to the field of g-protein coupled receptor science. Which have led to greater understanding of the way in which these receptors function. The jury also recognised his huge contributions to the scientific community as editor-in chief of the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, Prof. Portoghese received the prize during the ISMC in Istanbul. Turkey, August 2006
The awardee in 2008 was Hugo Kubinyi (retired from BASF and the University of Heidelberg, Germany) for his outstanding achievements in the field of medicinal chemistry. The jury mentioned his contributions to experimental medicinal chemistry, both in industry and academia, in synthetic chemistry, molecular modelling and X-ray crystallography especially. The jury also praised him as a great teacher and mentor of medicinal chemistry, building ridges between many countries, mentioning his many publications and books, which influenced medicinal chemists across the world. The award was presented to prof. Kubinyi during the ISMC in Vienna, Austria, September 2008
The winner of the Nauta Award for Pharmacochemistry in 2010 is Camille-Georges Wermuth (University Louis Pasteur Strasbourg and founder of Prestwick Chemicals) for his significant contribution to the science of medicinal chemistry, both by scientific achievements and by educational activities. Prof. Wermuth contributed to the development of three marketed drugs and the results of his work are documented in more than 250 publications and 60 patents. He has also significantly contributed to the advancement of education in medicinal chemistry by his famous textbook “The practice of Medicinal Chemistry”. This award also recognises the engagement of Prof. Wermuth in promoting Medicinal Chemistry in Europe by organizing several symposia and through his active role in learned societies.
Alexander Levitzki’s (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel) research focuses on cell signaling pathways with a special emphasis on the role of tyrosine kinases. He has pioneered the therapeutic concept that tyrosine kinase function can be selectively modulated by small molecule inhibitors, in face of worldwide skepticism whether sufficient selectivity can be obtained. His research opened new territory leading to a number of novel key therapeutic approaches with significant impact in medicinal chemistry, drug development, and advancement of human health care.Alexander Levitzki has been the early pioneer in the field of kinase inhibition and antitumor therapy with his work being documented in more than 350 publications. The development and launch of several Protein Tyrosine Kinase inhibition-based cancer therapies highlights the impact Alexander Levitzki’s creative and innovative research has had on medicinal chemistry and industrial R&D with successful drugs already on or coming to the market.
Paul Leeson (GlaxoSmithKline, United Kingdom) is particularly recognized throughout the field of medicinal chemistry for his leading work on the importance of ‘drug-like’ physicochemical properties and their relationship to drug candidate survival in development. Paul has published extensively on this theme and his work has had a profound influence on the practices of medicinal chemists across the globe. Dr. Leeson’s career in the pharmaceutical industry has spanned over 35 years, where he has worked at Smith Kline and French Research Laboratories, Merck Sharp and Dohme, Wyeth (USA), and AstraZeneca. He has published more than 150 papers, patents and book chapters, and has led drug discovery efforts in the cardiovascular, neuroscience, inflammation and respiratory therapy areas.
The winner of the EFMC Nauta is professor François Diederich (ETH, Zürich,Switzerland). He received the prize for his outstanding contributions to the science of medicinal chemistry. Prof. François Diederich made essential contributions to the fundamental understanding of non-bonding interactions involved in molecular recognition and their application in modern drug design. His scientific work is documented in more than 700 publications and beautifully describes interactions such as sulphur-aromatics, cation-Pi, fluorine interactions and halogen bonding that are actively used by many scientists around the world in the discovery of novel medicines.The Award was presented during the ISMC, August 2016.
In 2018 professor Christa Müller– University of Bonn, Germany has been elected as the winner of the award, to acknowledge her extensive contribution to the field of adenosine and purinergic receptors, from the design of novel ligands to the study of their therapeutic potential, as well as for her support of the European Medicinal Chemistry community. Professor Müller is a highly cited scientist who has developed a number of tool compounds now used by many labs around the world. She has set up numerous international collaborations, and is a co-founder of the Pharmacenter in Bonn. Her noted contributions to the Medicinal Chemistry community include continued editorial and advisory duties, educational initiatives, and the organization of international conferences.
The winner of the 2020 Nauta Award is professor Ad IJzerman (Leiden University, NL; Leiden Academic Centre for Drug research). Professor IJzerman is a world leader in GPCR research. He combines in his research chemistry, pharmacology, pharmacokinetics molecular biology and computational techniques.
Ad IJzerman is a gifted teacher. He has (co-)organised several symposia and courses, including the International LACDR School on Medicinal Chemistry and is (co-)author of around 450 scientific papers.
He served the Med. Chem. Community as chairman of the Med. Chem. Section of the Royal Netherlands Chemical Society.
The award was presented at the (virtual) XXVI – ISMC September 2021 in Basel, Switzerland.
The 2022 Nauta Award is for professor Herbert Waldmann, Max Planck Institute of Molecular Physiology, Germany. Herbert Waldmann is an inspiring scientist, who combines in his research programmes several disciplines and technologies, an approach the name-giver of the prize also followed. He has contributed to several breakthrough concepts, especially in the new field of chemical biology.
Another aspect of the way Herman Waldmann performs his research is also in line with the manner the name- giver liked to foster medicinal chemistry: scientific research should never be a national affair; there is no national science Nauta liked to advocate.
The same is true for the attention Waldmann pays to the interaction of academic and industrial programmes in the broad field of interdisciplinary research in fields of chemistry, biology, biophysics, genetics…
The award is presented during the opening session of the 27th EFMC-ISMC in Nice, France, September 2022.
Regulations and criteria (established in 1990; last adjustments november 2008))
- The W.Th. Nauta Award is established by the Dutch Foundation ‘Stichting Prof.W. Th. Nauta fonds’ for the memory of Prof. Dr W.Th. Nauta. The Award will honour the memory of Prof. Dr. Wijbe Nauta, whose activities have been very important for the advancement of medicinal chemistry in general and for the development of international organisation structures in particular.
- The W.Th.Nauta Award will acknowledge innovating and important results of research in the field of medicinal chemistry obtained by a scientist with no restrictions to nationality or age; the Award may also be used to acknowledge any other activities which have contributed to the advancement of medicinal chemistry or to the co-operation of medicinal chemistry activities between countries.
- The recipient of the Award will receive a sum of money and a diploma. The level of the prize will depend on the economical conditions and will amount to Dutch Guilders 15.000,– in 1992, when the Award will be presented for the first time. The money will be provided by the W.Th. Nauta Foundation. In 2002 the amount of the prize money was changed into 7.500,– euro.
- The scientist whose work and/or activities comply with the description given under paragraph 2 of these rules qualifies for the Award.
- The Award will be given every second year, to start in 1992.
- The responsibility of the selection of the recipient of the Award will be carried out by the Management Committee of the European Federation for Medicinal Chemistry- EFMC- on advice of a special jury.
- The jury will consist of four persons: two nominated by the Management Committee of the EFMC; one nominated by the Section Pharmacochemistry of the Royal Netherlands Chemical Society; one nominated by the Department of Pharmacochemistry of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. The chairman of the EFMC will act as chairman of yhe jury. The W.Th. Nauta Foundation will appoint an observer.
- A call for proposals to suggest nominees will be published before October of the year preceding the year in which the prize will be awarded in the European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry and any other journal which is considered to be appropriate. Proposals have to reach the jury before January 1st of the following year. The prize will be presented during the bi-annual of the EFMC , the International Symposium on Medicinal Chemistry or during another appropriate meeting.The winner of the Award will be invited to present a plenary lecture at the given symposium.
- The Board of the ‘Stichting Prof. W.Th. Nauta Fonds’ is responsible for the correct execution of these rules and will act to its best knowledge in cases for which these rules do not provide.