Endowed professorship honors scientist behind key tool in fighting COVID-19

a portrait of George Painter
George Painter will be the first recipient of the George R. Painter III endowed distinguished professorship.

An endowed distinguished professorship at Emory will honor George Painter, the CEO of DRIVE (Drug Innovation Ventures at Emory) and the director of the Emory Institute for Drug Development, for his life-saving work in developing critical medicines including molnupiravir, which is approved globally for the treatment of COVID-19.

Painter, an Emory alumnus, has devoted his career to developing antiviral drugs. He holds more than 150 patents, many of which have led to approved, commercially available drugs or combinations of drugs for the treatment of HIV, hepatitis B, smallpox, influenza, and coronavirus infections, and has published more than 120 peer-reviewed papers.

Painter will be the first to assume the endowed distinguished professorship in the Department of Pharmacology and Chemical Biology in the School of Medicine. “I’m deeply honored that my work has inspired the creation of an endowed chair devoted to developing antiviral agents to address unmet medical needs, especially in underserved populations. It’s encouraging this vital mission at Emory is getting the long-term support it deserves,” says Painter. The professorship’s donor, who asked to remain anonymous, made a gift of $5 million to support the establishment of this distinguished professorship and requested that it be named for Painter to honor his numerous contributions to pharmacology.

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