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Philip Needleman is an American pharmacologist and academic. Needleman was a professor and associate dean at the Washington University School of Medicine and he served as an executive at Monsanto/Searle. He is credited with discovering the first thromboxane synthase inhibitor, the inflammatory substance known as COX-2 and the cardiac hormone known as atriopeptin. Needleman is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Needleman attended the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science, where he earned an undergraduate degree and a master's degree, both in pharmacology. He subsequently studied at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and received a doctoral degree in pharmacology.
He was a postdoctoral fellow at the Washington University School of Medicine, remaining there as a faculty member. He became a full professor and he chaired the pharmacology department from 1976 to 1989.
In 1989 left academia for industry and became vice president of Monsanto. In 1993 he became president of Searle. There he oversaw research into COX-2 that led to the development of the anti-inflammatory drug celecoxib (Celebrex) which resulted in the 1998 Food and Drug Administration (FDA). He became senior executive vice president and chief scientist of Pharmacia from 2000 to 2003.
He returned to academia as an associate dean at the Washington University School of Medicine in 2004 and was subsequently named to the school's board of trustees. He served as interim president of two institutions, the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center and the Saint Louis Science Center.
Needleman was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1987 in the physiology and pharmacology section. He received the NAS Award for the Industrial Application of Science in 2005 for his work on "metabolism of arachidonic acid in physiology and pathophysiology, which generates prostacyclin and thromboxane." He was named a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2015.
- "Needleman elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences". Washington University School of Medicine. May 1, 2015. Retrieved July 3, 2015.
- "Philip Needleman". National Academy of Sciences. 15 June 2015. Retrieved 28 December 2015.
- "Leading plant researcher to lead Danforth Center". Donald Danforth Plant Science Center. November 6, 2010. Retrieved July 3, 2015.
- Seltzer, Jo (June 7, 2011). "Scientist thrives on challenge and change". St. Louis Beacon. Archived from the original on July 20, 2013. Retrieved July 3, 2015.
- NAS member directory
- NAS Award for the Industrial Application of Science Archived 2015-01-08 at the Wayback Machine National Academy of Sciences web site
- "Dr. Philip Needleman". American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved July 3, 2015.