sealPurdue News

July 11, 2002

U of Illinois-Chicago pharmacy head named Purdue dean

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – John M. Pezzuto, a University of Illinois at Chicago faculty member and administrator, has been named dean of Purdue University’s Schools of Pharmacy, Nursing and Health Sciences.

John M. Pezzuto

The appointment, effective Sept. 1, was announced today (7/11) by Purdue Provost Sally Frost Mason. Pezzuto’s appointment is subject to approval by the university’s board of trustees.

"Purdue's Schools of Pharmacy, Nursing and Health Sciences will have a major role to play in the contemporary revolution in health care," Frost Mason said. "Dr. Pezzuto will provide the leadership to propel the schools into the new century. Under his guidance, they will build on their international reputation for excellence and research."

Purdue President Martin C. Jischke said Pezzuto’s broad skills would benefit the university.

"He brings an excellent balance of scholarship and administrative talent to the deanship," Jischke said. "Purdue is very fortunate to have attracted a dean of his caliber."

Pezzuto has been on the UIC faculty for 22 years. His previous administrative experience includes several years as head and interim head of the Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy in the UIC College of Pharmacy. He currently serves in several administrative positions at UIC and holds the rank of full professor in both the College of Pharmacy and the College of Medicine. With over 350 publications and several patents, he is a University Scholar and Distinguished Professor.

Pezzuto said he is looking forward to his new position at Purdue.

"Purdue has one of the oldest and most respected pharmacy programs in the country," he said. "Its schools of nursing and health sciences produce graduates who are sought after nationally. It will be an honor to serve such a distinguished institution."

Pezzuto is the current editor-in-chief of the journal Pharmaceutical Biology and was previously editor-in-chief of the journal Combinatorial Chemistry and High Throughput Screening as well as the International Journal of Pharmacognosy. With continuous funding from the NIH for the past 25 years, his research areas of interest are primarily in biology-driven natural product drug discovery and characterization.

Pezzuto received his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Rutgers University and his doctorate in biochemistry from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. He performed postdoctoral work at MIT and the University of Virginia.

Charles O. Rutledge, current dean, will remain in place until Sept. 1. Rutledge will then devote full time to his new position as director of Discovery Park, a $100 million multidisciplinary research complex under development at Purdue.

Since it was established in 1884, the School of Pharmacy has educated more than 7,000 pharmacists and more than 1,000 pharmaceutical scientists and educators. The school’s alumni and former Purdue faculty members make up 25 percent of the nation’s deans at schools of pharmacy. Purdue pharmacy alumni are also well represented throughout many departments and divisions of companies in the pharmaceutical industry. More than 700 students were enrolled in undergraduate and graduate programs during the past school year.

The School of Nursing, with an enrollment of 477 students during the past school year, has graduated thousands of students since it was founded in 1962. It routinely achieves 100 percent job placement for its graduates.

The School of Health Sciences, with an enrollment of 540 students during the past school year, emphasizes radiological, occupational and environmental health. The first applications of radioactive isotopes in pharmaceuticals were pioneered at the school in the 1940s, and it has since expanded to develop specialists in ergonomics, health physics and industrial hygiene.

Writer: Chad Boutin, (765) 494-2081,

Sources: John M. Pezzuto, (312) 996-5967,

Sally Frost Mason, (765) 494-9709,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

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