Marsha Miller/News.utexas.edu

UT Inventor Of The Year


By Krystal Cruz

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Chemistry professor Jonathan Sessler received the Inventor of the Year award at the 2016 Inventor of the Year ceremony for his amazing inventions and breakthrough research on the Forty Acres.

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According to the UT News press release, Sessler has a history of work in “pursuit of new cancer drugs” starting after his diagnosis of lymphoma while he was a senior in college. While being treated, his physician challenged him to utilize his talent as a chemist to find drugs for cancer.

Eventually, Sessler established the biotech firm called Pharmacyclics with physician Dr. Richard A. Miller. It was created on the basis of the new class of molecules that Sessler created called texaphyrins (for their origins at UT Austin) and also the development of Ibrutinib, a powerful cancer treatment for leukemias and lymphomas. Pharmacyclics was sold to Abbvie in 2015 for $21 billion, deemed “one of the greatest commercial successes from UT.”

According to The Daily Texan, “The UT System is ranked fourth in the world in a number of patents and research papers.” Needless to say, it’s inventors like Sessler that prove what starts happens here really does change the world.

To read more from The Daily Texan, click here.