William J. Greenlee, Ph.D.

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Medicinal Chemist, Research Director and Project Manager with a record of success in over three decades of research in industry (Merck Research Laboratories, Schering-Plough Research Institute). Provided leadership to research groups that advanced 20 drug candidates into preclinical development and 11 into clinical studies. Contributed to medicinal chemistry programs that led to marketed drugs (Vasotec™, Prinivil™), and directed programs that led to the marketed antithrombotic drug vorapaxar (ZontivityTM) and the drug candidates preladenant (adenosine A2A antagonist for Parkinson’s disease) and verubecestat (BACE1 inhibitor for Alzheimer’s disease – Phase 3 ).  Strong communication and team-building skills. Broad contributions to medicinal chemistry and the medicinal chemistry community that have been recognized by local and national awards.


MedChem Discovery Consulting, Teaneck, NJ

Principal (2001 – present)

Providing consulting services in Preclinical Drug Discovery, including Lead Identification (Hit-to-Lead), Lead Optimization, Candidate Nomination and Due Diligence.

Harrington Discovery Institute, University Hospitals Case Medical Center, Cleveland, OH

Strategic Consultant, Innovation Support Center (2013 – present)

BioMotiv, Cleveland, OH

Consultant (2013-present)

Synergy Partners, R&D Solutions

Network Partner (2014 – present)

Merck Research Laboratories

Senior Director, Medicinal Chemistry, Rahway, N.J., 2010 – 2011

Responsible for the design and synthesis of drug candidates in the Cardiovascular and Metabolic Disease areas (50 chemists).  Areas of focus included hypertension, thrombosis and obesity/diabetes.

Vice President, Medicinal Chemistry, and Kenilworth Chemistry Site Head, Kenilworth, N.J., 2009 – 2010.

Responsible for Chemical Research in Kenilworth in support of six Merck franchise areas – Cardiovascular, Diabetes/Obesity, Neurosciences, Infectious Diseases, Oncology and BRID (Bone, Respiratory, Immunology, Dermatology).  Chemistry staff (220 chemists) comprised Medicinal Chemistry, Structural Chemistry, Radiochemistry and Spectroscopy.

Schering-Plough Research Institute, Kenilworth, NJ

Vice President, CNS and Cardiovascular Chemistry and High-Throughput Synthesis, 2002 – 2009

Responsible for the design and synthesis of drug candidates in the CNS and Cardiovascular/Metabolic Disease areas, and for Hit-to-Lead support for all SPRI therapy areas (80 chemists). Provided overall direction to chemistry outsourcing activities that employed 120 chemists at WuXi Pharmatech (Shanghai, China) and 30 chemists at AMRI (Albany, NY).

Senior Director, CNS and Cardiovascular Chemistry, 1995 – 2002.

Responsible for the design and synthesis of drug candidates in support of the cardiovascular and CNS therapy areas, and for the High-Throughput Synthesis (HiTS) group (45-75 chemists).

Merck Research Laboratories, Rahway, NJ

Senior Director, Basic Medicinal Chemistry, 1993 – 1995.

Directed research in the design and synthesis of receptor antagonists and enzyme inhibitors in the cardiovascular, inflammation and diabetes areas (15-25 chemists).

Director, Exploratory Chemistry Department, 1989 – 1993.

Directed research in the design and synthesis of receptor antagonists and enzyme inhibitors in the cardiovascular, central nervous system, and inflammation areas (15-25 chemists).

Assistant Director, Exploratory Chemistry Department, 1984 – 1989.

Directed research projects in hypertension and diabetes (12-15 chemists).

Research Fellow, New Lead Discovery Department, 1981 – 1984.

Directed research in the design and synthesis of inhibitors of angiotensin-converting enzyme, alanine racemase and D-Ala-D-Ala ligase.

Senior Chemist, New Lead Discovery Department, 1977 – 1981.

Design and synthesis of inhibitors of angiotensin-converting enzyme.

Chemical Samples Company (Dr. Kenneth W. Greenlee, President), Columbus, OH

Summer work in synthesis of hydrocarbons for catalog business (1966-1970).  Acetylene and olefin synthesis using standard reaction sequences in liquid ammonia (24-Liter glass flasks). Also gained experience in high-efficiency distillation techniques, including column packing and maintenance.


Columbia University, New York, NY, February, 1976 – July, 1977

National Institutes of Health Postdoctoral Fellow in Chemistry – Postdoctoral work with Professor Gilbert Stork on the total synthesis of cytochalasin B.

Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, September, 1972 – February, 1976

National Science Foundation Predoctoral Fellow in Chemistry (September 1972 – August, 1975); Ph.D. in Chemistry (June, 1976) – Graduate research with Professor R. B. Woodward on the total synthesis of marasmic acid.

The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, September, 1968 – June, 1972

B.S. in Chemistry (June, 1972), Summa Cum Laude and with Distinction. Undergraduate research with Professor Paul G. Gassman (Junior and Senior academic years, and summers of 1971, 1972).


American Chemical Society (since 1972)

American Association for the Advancement of Science (since 1986)

New York Academy of Sciences (since 2013).

Sigma Xi (elected to membership in 1973)


Pennsylvania Drug Discovery Institute 2011 Drug Discovery Award.

Research and Development Council of New Jersey 2009 Thomas Alva Edison Patent Award (Emerging Technology category) – Adenosine A2A Receptor Antagonist (preladenant).

Elected a Fellow of the American Chemical Society, July, 2009 (inaugural class).

Research and Development Council of New Jersey 2008 Thomas Alva Edison Patent Award (Emerging Technology category) – Thrombin Receptor Antagonist (vorapaxar).

Elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) / Pharmaceutical Chemistry Division, October, 2007.

Inducted into the Medicinal Chemistry Hall of Fame of the American Chemical Society Division of Medicinal Chemistry, August 2006 (one of first three medicinal chemists given this honor).

Alfred Burger Award in Medicinal Chemistry, American Chemical Society, March 2004.

National Institutes of Health Postdoctoral Fellowship (February, 1976 – July, 1977).

National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship (September, 1972 – August, 1975).

The American Institute of Chemists Award for the outstanding senior undergraduate majoring in chemistry, The Ohio State University, 1972.

William L. Evans Memorial Award to an Outstanding Senior Student in Chemistry, For Excellence in Scholarship and Leadership, The Ohio State University, 1972.

College of Arts and Sciences undergraduate research scholarship, The Ohio State University, academic year 1971 – 1972.

National Science Foundation Undergraduate Research Program participant, The Ohio State University, summers 1970, 1971 (Research Advisor, Prof. Paul G. Gassman).

Member of Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Eta Sigma (freshman men’s honorary society).


American Chemical Society, Division of Medicinal Chemistry – Vice Chair, 2000; Long-Range Planning Committee (LRPC) Chair, 2000; Program Chair; 2001-2002; Division Chair, 2003. Industrial Councilor (2009-2011; 2012-2014; 2015-2017) [elected positions].  Chair, Predoctoral Fellowship Program Selection Committee, 2004. Section Editor (Cardiovascular and Pulmonary), Annual Reports in Medicinal Chemistry, (1999 – 2004). Member, Division of Medicinal Chemistry Awards Nominating Committee, 2010 – 2011.  Session Chair, 31st National Medicinal Chemistry Symposium, June 15-19, 2008, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA.

American Chemical Society, Division of Organic Chemistry – Executive Committee Member-at-Large (2000-2003); Chair-Elect (2003); Chair (2004); Past Chair (2005); Program Chair (2007-2008). [elected positions].  Technical Achievements in Organic Chemistry Award Program, Selection Committee (2001), Organizer (2002 – 2003). Chair, Division of Organic Chemistry Travel Award Program, 2006-2007. Member, DOC Awards Committee, 2009.  Member, Division of Organic Chemistry ACS Fellows Nomination Committee (2009-2010).  Co-organizer, Robert Burns Woodward Memorial Symposium, A.C.S. National Meeting, Boston, MA, August 23, 2010.  Symposium Executive Officer and Co-Organizer, 42nd National Organic Chemistry Symposium, Princeton University, June 5 – 9, 2011.

Other American Chemical Society Activities – Editorial Advisory Board, Journal of Medicinal Chemistry (2001 – 2006); Perspectives Editor (April, 2006-present). Editorial Advisory Board, ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters (2010 – present). Organized / Chaired 15 symposia for ACS National Meetings (ORGN, MEDI) during 2000-2010, including the Arthur C. Cope Award Symposium and other ACS National Award symposia.  National Awards Selection Committee, 2001-2003. Associate Member, Committee on Public Relations and Communications (2008-2009). Associate Member, Committee on Divisional Activities (2010), Member (2011).  Member, Budget and Finance Committee (2014-2016); Vice Chair (2017 –  ).  ACS Co-Organizer, ACS PharmaLeaders Conference at Schering-Plough Research Institute, Kenilworth, NJ, November 9-10, 2008.

Other Professional Activities – Chair, Gordon Research Conference on Medicinal Chemistry, Colby-Sawyer College, August 3-9, 1997. Co-Organizer, annual Drew Residential School in Medicinal Chemistry and Drew Residential School Special Topics courses (2001 – present). Scientific Advisory Board, Rider University (2002 – 2011).  Member, University of Kansas School of Pharmacy Executive Advisory Council, 2005; 2010.  Editorial Advisory Board, Medicinal Research Reviews (2002 – 2006). Section Co-Editor for Current Opinion in Drug Discovery and Development (Current Drugs) (1999 – 2006). NIH/NIDDK Spring 2008 Board of Scientific Counselors Review – Ad Hoc Member.  Member of 2009 Sato International Award Nominating Committee. Co-Organizer, Keystone Conference on Small Molecule Drug Discovery, Whistler, British Columbia, Apr 20 – 25, 2010.  Section Head, “Drug Discovery & Design” Section, Faculty of 1000 Biology (2009 – present).  Member of the Advisory Board of the Institute of Chemical Biology and Drug Discovery (ICB&DD) at Stony Brook University (2010 – ). Co-Organizer, Medicinal Chemistry India 2013, Chennai, India, 2013, Medicinal Chemistry and Drug Discovery India (MCADDI 2015), Chennai, India and MCADDI 2017 (Bangalore, India).