Organic Synthesis Collaborative Center
Biomedical research requires investigators to acquire new experimental methods. However, when the new method is as broad as “synthetic organic chemistry,” then the obstacles are formidable and, for many investigators, insurmountable. The Division of Clinical Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics in the Department of Medicine was founded to bring biologically oriented Ph.D. organic chemists to the Columbia medical campus and facilitate novel, chemical solutions to important biological problems. The founder and chief of this division, Dr. Donald Landry, is a Ph.D. organic chemist and a fully trained physician. Dr. Landry’s own work exemplifies the melding of chemistry and biology in his purification and characterization of epithelial ion channels and later his development of artificial enzymes including anticocaine catalytic antibodies. As part of the mission of his division, Dr. Landry sought to facilitate interactions between the chemists of the Division and the wider community of biologists and thus he organized the Organic Synthesis Collaborative Center.