June 11, 2024
Victor Marquez standing in front of a wall

Dr. Victor E. Marquez, a 1970 graduate of the U-M College of Pharmacy’s Medicinal Chemistry PhD program, was named a Highly Ranked Scholar by ScholarGPS, an online source for scholarly activity.


Marquez was placed in the top 0.05% of scholars worldwide – ranked based on his publication record and the impact and quality of his published work. Marquez has been published 492 times. 


“I was totally surprised by the report from ScholarGPS,” said Marquez. “It’s nice to know that you have been recognized and your effort has been useful, but the most exciting reward is knowing you have helped people.” 


Following his PhD work at the College, Marquez worked as a post-doc fellow for one year at the National Cancer Institute, where he would return five years later after spending time at his father’s pharmaceutical company in Venezuela, his home country. 


During his 33 years at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), he worked on drug design. Some of his notable achievements were the discovery of Zebularine and 3-Deazaneplanocin A (DZNep), both anti-tumor agents. Since their discovery, Zebularine and DZNep have been cited, respectively, 200 and 185 times in cancer research. 


Over the years, Marquez mentored more than 40 post-doc fellows in his lab, many of whom are still focusing on research projects they worked on with him. 


Following his retirement from the NCI in 2009, Marquez spent eight years as expert witness in patent litigations for Gilead Sciences, Inc., a company that focuses on HIV and Hepatitis C drug development. 


Marquez credits the College of Pharmacy for his critical thinking skills that helped him throughout his career. 


“During my undergraduate in Venezuela, my professors told me exactly what to do,” Marquez remarked. “At Michigan, they didn’t. I had to propose ideas to the faculty. It taught me to be an independent thinker, and I really appreciate that. They were there to support me, but I had to be my own motivator.” 


Today, Marquez remains affiliated with the National Cancer Institute as a Scientist Emeritus and still collaborates on research projects with other chemists. He wrote about his career and drug discoveries in his book, “The Ups and Downs in Drug Design: Adventures in Medicinal Chemistry.” 


Congratulations to our alumni Dr. Marquez, a leader and best whose contributions have advanced the field of pharmaceutical science.