June 27, 2018
MedChem department chair, Dr. George Garcia (left), welcomes Yousong Ding (right) back to the College.

Professor Yousong Ding, PhD’10, returned to Ann Arbor to present the 13th Annual Leroy B. Townsend Award Lecture on May 17, 2018. Prof. Ding is an assistant professor of medicinal chemistry at the University of Florida, Gainesville. He received his PhD from the University of Michigan, under the supervision of Professor David H. Sherman, in 2010. He pursued postdoctoral training with Professor Frances. H. Arnold at the California Institute of Technology. Prof. Ding’s research mainly focuses on discovering and developing bioactive substances from nature for existing and emerging medical needs by using interdisciplinary approaches in medicinal chemistry, microbiology, molecular biology, cell biology, protein science, and synthetic biology. 

Prior to the lecture, Prof. Ding joined students from the Department of Medicinal Chemistry for a luncheon with a lively discussion of his and the student’s research. He later presented his lecture on “Exploiting microbial genomes to access new enzymology and valuable chemicals,” which focused on the recent studies in the discovery of new enzymology and the production of chemicals in his lab at UF.

Following the lecture, alumni and department faculty, staff, and students were treated to a barbeque picnic dinner in the Michigan League courtyard. This annual event is sponsored by funds from the Leroy B. Townsend Graduate Student Fund. Emeritus Professor Leroy B. Townsend had a long and distinguished career as a heterocyclic and nucleoside chemist at the U-M College of Pharmacy. He resides in Sedona, Arizona with his wife, Sammy.