About the Author
David Hughes obtained his Ph.D. in physical organic chemistry under the direction of Professor Fred Bordwell at Northwestern University in 1981. After post-doctoral work in the laboratory of Professor Ned Arnett at Duke University, he joined the Process Research department of Merck Research Laboratories in 1982 and currently holds the position of Executive Director, Scientific Staff. His area of expertise is physical organic chemistry with a focus on elucidation of mechanisms of synthetically important organic reactions. In the mid-1990's, the Hughes group took on the challenge of developing a viable synthesis of a semi-synthetic pneumocandin antifungal candidate that was entering development at that time. This development candidate progressed through many hurdles and was ultimately approved under the trademark CANCIDAS in 2001. Along with his colleagues Robert Schwartz and Jim Balkovec, Dave was awarded the 2006 ACS Heroes of Chemistry Award for this work. Other Merck drugs that Dave has been instrumental in process design and development include Primaxin, Emend, and Cozaar. Dave has co-authored over 100 papers and has been a member of the editorial board for Organic Synthesis since 2008.