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Massey researcher receives University Award of Excellence at VCU

Sep 14, 2020


VCU Massey Cancer Center researcher Nicholas Farrell, Ph.D., received the University Award of Excellence during VCU’s annual Faculty Convocation ceremony on September 10.

VCU President Michael Rao, Ph.D., acknowledged that the six faculty members honored with various awards during the ceremony embody the university’s mission and are actively working to transform lives, despite the challenges facing the university and the nation.

“They make learning real,” Rao said. “And no question that they bring energy that inspires us to learn. It’s so important because given what we are going through right now, it’s helped me to understand that energy that exists between a student and a faculty member, that energy that inspires us to want to understand something.”

That is what Farrell, member of Massey’s Developmental Therapeutics research program and professor in the Department of Chemistry at the College of Humanities and Sciences, has achieved throughout his career. Farrell is an internationally recognized expert in the area of anticancer drugs, and his research improves pharmaceuticals and has played a key role in developing important drugs. Farrell previously discovered that a new class of platinum-based drugs demonstrated significant anti-metastatic effects in fighting cancer.

Farrell said none of his work would have been possible without collaboration. He has worked with researchers across the globe and has always enjoyed the process.

“I do want to emphasize the notion of collaboration,” Farrell said. “I think it is so critical and critical for VCU.”

He said partnerships and teamwork are even more important in the current environment because scientists need to build relationships. Researchers need to “be more than scientists these days,” Farrell said.

Educated in Ireland, the United Kingdom and Canada, Farrell has published over 300 papers and reviews and is the recipient of more than 60 patents. He received the VCU Distinguished Research Scholarship Award in 2003 and was named a University Professor in 2017.

The Faculty Convocation was held at the W.E. Singleton Center for the Performing Arts but only a limited number of people were allowed to attend because of the coronavirus. The majority of people watched online.

Re-purposed from articles written by James Shea, of VCU Public Affairs.

Written by: Massey Communications Office

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