Awarded to an alumnus or alumna whose professional accomplishments and achievements are exceptionally noteworthy and distinctive in his/her profession.
Graduating cum laude with a degree in chemistry, George Kenyon was a member of Phi Lambda Theta fraternity, president of the American Chemical Society, president of Alpha Chi Sigma, and treasurer of Pi Mu Epsilon.
In 1963, he earned a master's degree in chemistry from Harvard. By 1965, he had a Ph.D. from Harvard and the next year was a postdoctoral fellow in biochemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
In 1966, he joined the faculty at the University of California at Berkeley as an assistant professor of chemistry. Six years later, he transferred to UC San Francisco, considered to be the most prestigious pharmacy school in the nation, where he became professor of pharmaceutical chemistry. A prolific writer, tireless researcher and brilliant teacher, he was named chairman of the department in 1982 and is currently the dean of the UCSF School of Pharmacy.
Through the years, he has been recognized nationally for his research in the mechanism of enzymic action, particularly his interests in creatine kinase and tyrosine-specific protein kinases. He has had 142 articles published in professional journals, plus many books, reviews, and abstracts.
From 1987-94, he served as principal investigator of an NIH-sponsored project to use structural biology to help design targeted drugs for AIDS and still continues as an investigator on that project. He also is an investigator on major collaborative efforts to use structure-based methods to design novel therapeutic agents to combat both malaria and Chagas' disease.