Webster Santos, associate professor of chemistry in the College of Science at Virginia Tech, has been named the Cliff and Agnes Lilly Faculty Fellow by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors.

Agnes Lilly established the Cliff and Agnes Lilly Faculty Fellowship to provide annual support to outstanding faculty involved with the Institute for Advanced Study in the College of Science.  The Lilly Fellowship appointment is for three years.

A member of the Virginia Tech faculty since 2006, Santos is internationally recognized as an expert in drug discovery and drug development. His research is focused on the development of new drugs for cancer therapy.

His work has implications for patients with three common cancers: breast, ovarian, and prostate. One of the major goals of his research program is to discover drugs that can be brought to market to benefit society.

Santos has received seven issued and pending patents with Virginia Tech Intellectual Property. He has 42 published papers in peer-reviewed journals, and three others submitted or in preparation.

He has significant grant funding from the National Institutes of Health to support his drug discovery research, support from the National Science Foundation, and the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry support fundamental research on synthetic methods, and has an active laboratory that involves undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral students in chemistry.

Santos is a co-founder of SphynKx Therapeutics, a biotechnology company that has licensed the inventions from his laboratories for further development into the clinic. His work has implications for patients with chronic kidney disease and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

Santos received his bachelor’s degree and Ph.D. from the University of Virginia. His postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University from 2002 to 2006 was funded by a National Research Service Award from the National Institutes of Health.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.

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