Dr Simon Campbell receives CBE at Buckingham Palace

14 December 2006

The immediate past president of the Royal Society of Chemistry has attended Buckingham Palace to collect the CBE awarded to him in the Queen's Birthday Honours.

Dr Simon Campbell was given the prestigious accolade "For Services to Science", which include helping create three key drugs as well as being at the forefront of the RSC's campaign to obtain more government funding for the chemical sciences.

He said: "My family and I were delighted to attend the December Investiture in the magnificent ballroom in Buckingham Palace where over 100 formal awards were presented in a relaxed and friendly manner. 

"The Queen spoke to each award recipient, and she asked me some questions on the chemical sciences after placing the CBE around my neck. It was an honour to be awarded the CBE by the Queen and I particularly appreciated the citation 'For Services to Science'".

Dr Simon Campbell with his CBE outside Buckingham Palace

Dr Simon Campbell with his CBE outside Buckingham Palace

Born in Lapal, Worcestershire, in 1941, Dr Campbell obtained both his BSc (1962) and PhD (1965) degrees from the University of Birmingham, England, before carrying out postdoctoral research in Chile and at Stanford University in America.

He was then appointed visiting professor at the Universidad de Sao Paulo, Brazil, in 1970. Two years later Dr Campbell joined Pfizer Central Research, Sandwich, as a medicinal chemist, and during the next 26 years co-authored over 110 publications and patents.

His career highlights include being a major part of the teams that discovered the drugs Cardura, Norvasc and Viagra. Cardura is used to treat prostate enlargement and high blood pressure, Norvasc is also used to treat high blood pressure and angina, while the much-documented Viagra was the first oral treatment for male erectile dysfunction.

By the time of his retirement from Pfizer in 1998, Dr Campbell was the company's senior vice president for world-wide discovery and medicinal research and development in Europe.

His scientific contributions have been recognised by the Royal Society of Chemistry Award for Medicinal Chemistry (1989), the Herschberg Award from the American Chemical Society (1997), and the Industry Research Institute (US) Achievement Award (1997).  

In 1999, Dr Campbell was elected Fellow of the Royal Society, and was awarded an honorary degree by the University of Kent - an accolade later repeated by The University of Birmingham (2004). 

He has served on various professional and research bodies, and as chair of the Expert Scientific Advisory Committee for the Medicines for Malaria Venture (Geneva) from 1999-2003.

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