Jindřich (Henry) Kopeček (born January 27, 1940, in Strakonice, Czech Republic) is a polymer chemist and pharmaceutical scientist notable as one of the pioneers in drug delivery He is a Distinguished Professor at the University of Utah in Pharmaceutics & Pharmaceutical Chemistry, and Bioengineering, and has been an editorial board member of 16 international scientific journals, and a fellow of several scientific societies.
Dr. Kopeček has made significant contribution to the developments of biomedical applicable hydrogels and polymeric drug conjugates. He was a member of the research group at Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences where polymeric soft contact lenses were invented. His lab designed and developed N-(2-hydroxypropyl)methacrylamide (HPMA) copolymer-drug conjugates as a lysosomal delivery vehicle to cancer cells. The concept of using poly(HPMA) as polymeric drug carriers has opened a new perspective in modern pharmaceutical science, and developed into the first polymer-drug conjugates entering clinical trials. For these contributions, he was elected as a member of the United States National Academy of Engineering in 2011.
Dr. Kopeček received his Ph.D. training in macromolecular chemistry at the Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry (IMC) and received a D.Sc. degree in chemistry from the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences (CAS). Before joining the University of Utah in 1986, he served as a principal investigator and Laboratory Head at the IMC CAS (1972–1988).
Dr. Kopeček is a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (1995), American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (1994), International Union of Societies of Biomaterials (1999), and Controlled Release Society (2010). He has served as President of the Controlled Release Society (1995–1996), Co-Director of Center for Controlled Chemical Delivery at the University of Utah (1986–present), and Chair of the Biomaterials and Interfaces Study Section at United States National Institutes of Health (2003–2006).
His research has high impact in areas of bioconjugate chemistry, biorecognition of macromolecules, developments of drug delivery systems and self-assembled biomaterials. He has authored more than 440 scientific publications cited over 25,000 times. Many of his research has over the years advanced from concept to clinic and applied to a variety of different fields. Hydrogels from his laboratory have been in clinical use, and HPMA copolymer-anticancer drug conjugates in clinical trials. During his career, he has trained many successful chemists, biomedical engineers and pharmaceutical scientists who are in leading positions in academia and industry all over the world.
- Distinguished Mentor Award, University of Utah (2017)
- Doctor of Philosophy honoris causa, University of Helsinki, Finland (2014)
- Lifetime Achievement Award, Journal of Drug Targeting (2011)
- Honorary Professorship, Sichuan University, China (2007)
- Distinguished International Scientist Award, Japanese Biomaterials Society (2006)
- Chair, Gordon Conference on Drug Carriers in Medicine and Biology (2004)
- Heyrovský Medal for merit in the chemical sciences, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic (2003)
- Paul Dawson Biotechnology Award, American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (2001)
- Millennial Pharmaceutical Scientist, Millennial World Congress of Pharmaceutical Sciences (2000)
- Founders Award, Controlled Release Society (1999)
- Clemson Award for Basic Research, Society for Biomaterials (1995)
- Distinguished Research Award, University of Utah (1993)
- .CRSNews2010 (Interview with Dr. Jindrich Kopecek)
- Kopecek Honored for Contributions (The Daily Utah Chronicle)
- The University of Utah
- Clinical Cancer Research Vol. 5, 83–94, January 1999
- U professor named to prestigious engineering academy (The Daily Utah Chronicle)
- NAE Elects 68 Members and Nine Foreign Associates
- Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences
- The Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry
- Controlled Release Society
- Jindrich (Henry) Kopecek, University of Utah