Dhiren Thakker, Ph.D., presents Hal Kohn, Ph.D., with the School's 2018 Distinguished Service Award.
Dhiren Thakker, Ph.D., presents Hal Kohn, Ph.D., with the School’s 2018 Distinguished Service Award.

Professor Emeritus Harold “Hal” Kohn, Ph.D., is the 2018 recipient of the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy Distinguished Service Award. The award is presented annually for accomplishments and contributions that enhance both the School and the profession of pharmacy, and for exceptional support of the School’s service and outreach initiatives.

Before his retirement from the School in 2015, Kohn served as chair of the Division of Chemical Biology and Medicinal Chemistry and was a Kenan Distinguished Professor.

“Hal was recruited to UNC in 1999 to lead the transformation of its medicinal chemistry unit into a contemporary, entrepreneurial program,” said Dhiren Thakker, Ph.D., interim dean of the School. “While at the School, Kohn also launched and served as director of the Campbell Mentoring Program, a program designed to mentor junior faculty. As both chair of his division and director of the mentoring program, Professor Kohn left his mark as an advocate for innovation.”

Kohn’s research was focused on the elaboration of the mechanism of action of clinical agents and the synthesis and evaluation of novel, new therapeutic agents. His work incorporates the examination of the biological mechanism of therapeutic agents (e.g., lacosamide, mitomycin C, bicyclomycin) at the molecular level, as well as the design, synthesis and pharmacological evaluation of new therapeutic agents for the treatment of neurological disorders, cancer and bacterial infections.



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