Michael Bollong, assistant professor of chemistry at Scripps Research.

The Medicinal Chemistry Division of the American Chemical Society (ACS), along with the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, has given the 2022 Philip S. Portoghese Joint Lectureship Award for a Young Investigator to Michael Bollong, PhD. The Lectureship recognizes Bollong, an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry at Scripps Research, for his impact on the field of medicinal chemistry.

“It’s quite an honor to receive this award,” says Bollong, “and to join the company of two of my esteemed colleagues here at Scripps Research whose work has previously been recognized with the Portoghese Lectureship.” Kim Janda, PhD, a professor in the Department of Chemistry, received the award in 2019 and Dale Boger, PhD, also a chemistry professor, received it in 2011.

In his lab, Bollong focuses his research on the earliest phase of drug discovery. He and his team utilize the traditional tools of drug discovery—high-throughput small molecule screens—coupled with modern target identification techniques to study and intervene in the biological processes that cause human disease. They are especially interested in identifying new molecules and mechanisms to promote regenerative organ repair, and to activate protective cellular stress responses.

Bollong earned his doctoral degree in Chemical Biology at the Scripps Research graduate school, now known as the Skaggs Graduate School of Chemical and Biological Sciences. Upon graduation, he was hired as the first Scripps Research Fellow, a program dedicated to finding and nurturing the next generation of scientific leaders. He was promoted to assistant professor in 2020. Bollong will receive his Portoghese Lectureship Award at the ACS national meeting taking place in Chicago on August 21-25.

The Portoghese Lectureship is named for chemist Phil Portoghese, PhD, a distinguished professor at the University of Minnesota and long-time editor-in-chief of the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry. Bollong shares this year’s honor with R. Kip Guy, PhD, dean and professor at the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy, who received the award for an Established Investigator.