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The University of Mississippi

Internationally Lauded Scientist Named Joseph Sam Distinguished Alumnus

Posted on: October 15th, 2020 by wltarpy

October 15, 2020

OXFORD, Miss. – Hassan Y. Aboul-Enein, a University of Mississippi alumnus with postgraduate degrees in medicinal chemistry, has been named recipient of the School of Pharmacy Department of BioMolecular Sciences’ 2020 Joseph Sam Distinguished Alumnus Award.

“It is a great honor to receive this award,” Aboul-Enein said. “I first met Joseph Sam in 1965 in Cairo, Egypt, and his encouragement was the reason I applied to the graduate pharmacy program at Ole Miss.

Hassan Y. Aboul-Enein“Ultimately, the committee selected me to join the graduate program, which was the main factor that changed the course of my professional career. The memories I made at the University of Mississippi will always be engraved in my heart.”

Aboul-Enein, professor emeritus in the Department of Pharmaceutical and Medicinal Chemistry at the National Research Centre in Egypt, will deliver the Joseph Sam Distinguished Alumnus Lecture at noon Monday (Oct. 19) via Zoom. To watch the presentation, go to

His presentation is titled “Lipase-Catalyzed Kinetic Resolution of Racemates: A Versatile Method in Chiral Separation and Its Impact on Drug Development.”

I would like the lecture attendees to realize the idea of blending a multidisciplinary approach in all the various subjects of science like organic chemistry, analytical chemistry, pharmacology, biology, along with others, and to not lock yourself into one particular field,” Aboul-Enein said.

John Rimoldi, UM professor of medicinal chemistry and environmental toxicology, served on the award’s selection committee and knew Aboul-Enein was a perfect fit for the honor.

“The award committee was unanimous in selecting Dr. Aboul-Enein for this award,” Rimoldi said. “He is a distinguished scientist and leading authority in the field of chiral chromatography, pharmaceutical analysis and drug formulation. He is a prolific writer, having authored or co-authored more than 1,000 papers in peer-reviewed journals over his remarkable 50-plus year scientific career.”

Aboul-Enein received his master’s degree in 1969 and Ph.D. in 1971, both from UM, after earning a Bachelor in Pharmaceutical Science from Cairo University. He went on to join the faculty at University of Alabama at Birmingham, University of Iowa and King Saud University in Saudi Arabia.

From 1985 to 2006, he worked at King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre in Saudi Arabia as head of the bioanalytical and drug development laboratory.

Aboul-Enein has received several honors and awards, including the Mead Johnson Fellowship, NIH Postdoctoral Fellowship in Endocrinology and Metabolism, the 20th Century Award for Achievements and the Elsevier Scopus Award for the most-cited scientist in chemistry.

The award’s namesake, Joseph Sam, was an influential part in educating future scientists in the field of drug development and discovery. He served as one of the first chairs of the Department of Medicinal Chemistry, dean of the university’s Graduate School and vice chancellor of research. The award was created in 2009 to honor his inspirational spirit.

“The years I spent as a graduate student had a great impact on my professional career,” Aboul-Enein said. “It showed me the right way to be an achiever and a world-class researcher in the field of pharmaceutical sciences.

“It also left me with great memories that I established with the faculty, my mentors, such as professors Ronald Borne and Frank Gilmore, friends and colleagues all through the years.”