Academic Departments

Chemical Biology Department History

In 1987, Professor Allan H. Conney came to Rutgers University from Hoffmann-LaRoche Inc. with the vision of building a strong research department within the University’s Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy. Since its inception, the Department of Chemical Biology has focused research programs on the causes and prevention of cancer. With Professor Conney’s leadership, new teaching programs have been initiated for both undergraduate and graduate students in the areas of molecular biology, microbiology, nutrition, and disease prevention.

An annex to the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy Building was built and named the Laboratory for Cancer Research in 1990. In 2000, with a substantial gift from Dorothy C. Treisman, her children and her father, Joseph F. Cullman III, the estate of Carl Krauss, and Rutgers University, a second floor was added onto the original laboratory and the building was named in honor of Mrs. Treisman’s mother, the late Susan L. Cullman. The second floor provides additional facilities for enhanced research on the mechanisms of cancer causation and cancer prevention. Professor Conney served as Director of the Laboratory for Cancer Research from 1987-2013 and the Chair of the Department of Chemical Biology from 1987-2002. Professor Chung S. Yang was the Chair of the Department from 2002 to 2010 and established the Center for Cancer Prevention Research in 2003 to further promote cancer prevention research and collaboration. Professor Renping Zhou is the current Chair of the Department.

Professor Conney, a world-renowned cancer researcher whose decades of research demonstrated that such common sense activities, such as drinking green tea and getting more exercise, may help prevent the spread of cancer, passed away on September 10, 2013. He was an invaluable role model and guided many in the field of cancer chemo prevention. A renowned pharmacologist and cancer researcher, Professor Conney was a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and admired worldwide. His distinguished scholarship and admirable personal style have touched so many people; his legacy as a deeply caring, engaged scientist continues to guide our research and teaching.