In This Section
31st John C. Krantz, Jr. Lecture Series
featuring Michael J. Sofia, PhD
Michael J. Sofia, PhD, is currently chief scientific officer and co-founder of Arbutus Biopharma, Inc., a company focused on the discovery and development of therapies to treat hepatitis B. He also holds a professorship at the Baruch S. Blumberg Institute and an adjunct professorship at the Drexel University School of Medicine. He is also currently a member of the board of trustees at University of the Sciences.
Prior to his role at Arbutus Biopharma, Sofia was senior vice president of chemistry and senior advisor at Gilead Sciences and was senior vice president of chemistry at Pharmasset, Inc., until Pharmasset’s acquisition by Gilead in January 2012.
Sofia previously held the positions of group director new leads chemistry at Bristol-Myers Squibb, vice president of research at Intercardia Research Labs (formerly Transcell Technologies), and research positions of increasing responsibility at Eli Lilly & Co. and at the Squibb Institute for Medical Research E. R. Squibb.
Sofia completed his postdoctoral training in synthetic organic chemistry as an NIH fellow at Columbia University and received his PhD in organic chemistry from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He earned his BA degree in chemistry from Cornell University.
Sofia has introduced numerous drugs into clinical development for the treatment of infectious diseases and inflammatory diseases. He has authored over 100 publications, 13 book chapters and numerous abstracts and is an inventor on more than 53 U.S. patents and numerous patent applications. He has been an invited speaker at over 80 national and international conferences. He is the principle inventor of sofosbuvir the backbone of Sovaldi®, Harvoni®, Epclusa® and Vosevi® currently marketed as cures for HCV infection. Sofia is the recipient of numerous awards including the 2014 Pennsylvania Bio Scientific Achievement Award, the 2015 Heroes of Chemistry Award of the American Chemical Society, Foreign Policy Magazine’s 2014 Global Thinkers Award, the Economist Magazine’s 2015 Innovation Award in Biosciences, the 2016 IUPAC-Richter Prize, the 2016 Lasker-Debakey Award in Clinical Medical Research, the 2017 Gertrude Elion Award from the International Society for Antiviral Research and the New Jersey R&D Council Science and Technology Medal for his contributions to the discovery of a cure for HCV. In 2017, he was inducted into the American Chemical Society Medicinal Chemistry Hall of Fame.
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