January 06, 2016

2015 Dean’s Awards honoree: James A. Shayman, M.D.

Breakthroughs in therapeutics — including FDA’s 2014 approval of Cerdelga, a treatment for Gaucher disease — earned him the Innovation and Commercialization Award

James A. Shayman, M.D.

Bench to bedside.

The words both start with the letter ‘B’ and are close together in the dictionary. But they can be far apart in the world of scientific discovery.

In 2014, James A. Shayman, M.D., jumped over the bench to the other side of the bed in a triumphant case of drug discovery and transformation that is now benefitting patients. Working with Norman Radin, Ph.D., Shayman and his team worked for more than 25 years to design, synthesize and test glycolipid synthesis inhibitors for the treatment of lysosomal storage diseases, including Gaucher disease. Their work cleared the final hurdle in 2014 when the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Cerdelga (Eliglustat) for the treatment of Gaucher disease. The new drug offers an alternative to intravenous enzyme replacement — the only other approved Gaucher disease treatment.

Shayman received the 2015 Innovation and Commercialization Award on Nov. 4 at the annual Faculty and Staff Awards Dinner: