Medicinal Chemistry Professor Receives Award for Excellence in Promoting Inclusiveness


John Williamson

OXFORD, Miss. – A medicinal chemistry professor is the 2008 recipient
of the Award for Excellence in Promoting Inclusiveness in Graduate
Education at the University of Mississippi.

John Williamson is the fifth winner of the honor, which is presented annually by the UM Graduate School. The award recognizes an individual or program that best exemplifies the ideals of enhancing diversity.

“Dr. Williamson has a long and successful history of seeking federal funding to support minority students from his home state of Mississippi,” said Maurice Eftink, associate provost and dean of the graduate school. “Millions of dollars have been brought to the university by programs he initiated to build the pipeline of minority students who are interested in science programs, going from high school to graduate school.”

“I am very proud to receive this award,” Williamson said. “I have tried to commit myself to mentoring promising young minority students over the years. Of course, it is the dedication, determination and success of these students that makes it all worthwhile.”

An Ole Miss graduate, Williamson earned his doctorate at the University of Iowa and did postdoctorate work at Yale University. He joined the UM School of Pharmacy faculty in 1989. His research in the design of antimicrobial and anticancer drugs has won support from the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.

“Dr. Williamson has committed himself to improving diversity in higher education, and his efforts inspire us,” said Barbara Wells, dean of the UM School of Pharmacy and professor of pharmacy practice. “I believe his leadership and example are making a difference, and he is exquisitely deserving of this award.”

For more information about the Department of Medicinal Chemistry, visit or call 662-915-7101.