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KU MedChem Symposium in Honor of Bob Hanzlik

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April 30 & May 1, 2021 | Lawrence, KS

This special symposium honors Bob Hanzlik on the occasion of his retirement from KU after 49 years of dedicated service. The symposium, featuring plenary lectures, posters and social activities, will be held on KU's Lawrence campus on April 30 and May 1, 2021.
Event details subject to change


There is no registration fee for attending this symposium. However, this event will be largely funded by donations received from participants. To donate to the Hanzlik Symposium, visit Bob Hanzlik Retirement Symposium (KU Endowment).

Contributions received in excess of the cost of the symposium will be donated to the KU MedChem Endowment Fund, which supports KU MedChem graduate student stipends.

Confirmed Speakers

  • Tom Baillie, Professor/Dean Emeritus, University of Washington
  • John Cashman, CEO of Human Biomedical Research Institute
    • Matt Cerny, Senior Principal Scientist, Pfizer, Inc.
    • Dan Flynn, CEO of Deciphera, LLC
    • Gunda Georg, Regents Professor of Medicinal Chemistry, Univ. of Minnesota
    • Jennifer Goldman, Department of Pediatrics, Childrens Mercy Hospital and Clinics
    • Russell Prough, Professor Emeritus, University of Louisville
    • Chris Shaffer, Senior Director, Biogen, Inc.
    • Rheem Totah, Associate Professor of Medicinal Chemistry, University of Washington


Name/Website Address Phone Breakfast
Eldridge Hotel » 701 Mass., Lawrence, KS 66044 800-527-0909
Available in rest.
Oread Hotel » 1200 Oread Ave., Lawrence, KS 66044 877-263-6347
Available in rest.
Springhill Suites by Marriott » 1 Riverfront Plz., Lawrence, KS 66044 844-219-1667
Comp breakfast only
Marriott TownePlaza Suites » 900 New Hampshire, Lawrence, KS 66044 855-214-6765 Comp breakfast only
Hilton DoubleTree » 200 McDonald Dr., Lawrence, KS 66044 855-680-3239
Hampton Inn » 2300 West 6th St., Lawrence, KS 66049 800-504-5926
Comp breakfast only
Best Western Plus West » 6101 Rock Chalk Dr., Lawrence, KS 66049 855-680-3239
Comp breakfast only
Holiday Inn Express » 3411 S.W. Iowa, Lawrence, KS 66046 877-410-6667
Comp breakfast only
Quality Inn Suites » 2309 Iowa St., Lawrence, KS 66046 855-680-3239
Comp breakfast only

Campus Map and Parking Info

KU Campus Map
For a detailed KU campus map and other parking information see Parking at KU.

Adams Alumni Center
The Friday Evening Mixer will take place at the Adams Alumni Center near the northeast corner of campus (AAC on KU campus map) one block south of the Oread Hotel (gray square on map) and across the street from a convenient parking garage (MSPK on KU campus map).

MSPK Parking Garage & Payment
MSPK is pay-as-you-go parking, but it's very convenient. It's best to use the Oread Ave. entrance. Pull in to a parking spot (do not back in), remember your license tag number, and walk to a kiosk to pre-pay for whatever time you need with a credit card.

School of Pharmacy
The Saturday Symposium program will take place in the School of Pharmacy building located near the southwest corner of the campus (PHAR on KU campus map). There is ample free parking, free on weekends, in lots 215, 214, 227, 228 and 225. You will need to enter the building from the east side.

Arterra Event Gallery
The Saturday Banquet will be held at Arterra Event Gallery located behind a shopping center about a mile west of the School of Pharmacy. Map to Arterra Event Gallery.

About Bob Hanzlik

Bob Hanzlik Biosketch

Robert P. Hanzlik, Ph.D., is Professor of Medicinal Chemistry in the School of Pharmacy at KU-Lawrence. He earned his B.A. degree in Chemistry and Zoology at the Southern Illinois University in 1966 and a Ph.D. in organic chemistry at Stanford in 1970. Following a year of postdoctoral studies working on biomimetic oxygenase systems at Cambridge University, he joined the faculty of the University of Kansas. During his time at Kansas (1971-2020), Dr. Hanzlik maintained a vigorous research program supported by many sources including NIH, the University of Kansas, NSF-NATO, The American Lung Association, Research Corporation, Ethyl Corporation, The American Heart Association, Merck Research Laboratories, Eli Lilly, and Pfizer. His research, conducted with the participation of more than 60 co-workers, has resulted in over 160 peer-reviewed research publications, 14 reviews, and a textbook (Inorganic Aspects of Biological and Organic Chemistry). He also established four Core Laboratories (Mass Spectrometry, Protein Production, Protein X-ray Crystallography, and High-field Bio-NMR), all staffed by experts in their respective fields, to serve the needs of the chemical and biological researchers at KU. For most of his time at KU he ran daily, at noon, with the KU MadDogs faculty running group, and managed to serve the Med Chem department as Interim Chair from 2017 to 2020.

Dr. Hanzlik has trained 24 graduate students and 28 postdoctoral students and sabbatical visitors to his laboratory, as well as numerous undergraduates. In addition to serving as a consultant to more than 14 companies, his leadership and administrative capabilities are evident through his activities as PI of a NIH Pharmacological Sciences Training Grant (1995-2001), as PI of an NIH-COBRE Center in Protein Structure and Function, and through his service to various NIH study sections and scientific societies including the Society of Toxicology, the AAAS, and the International Society for the Study of Xenobiotics which he served as President (1996-97). Dr. Hanzlik is a Fellow of the American Association for Advancement of Science, and a recipient of the Sato Memorial International Award from the Foundation for Education in Science and the Pharmaceutical Society of Japan, and the Olin Petefish Research Award in the Basic Sciences from the University of Kansas, among others.

Dr. Hanzlik’s primary research interests are 1) mechanisms of drug metabolism and drug toxicity, and 2) enzyme mechanisms, enzyme inhibition and drug design. He and his students have employed approaches from physical organic chemistry and proteomics to characterize the reactive metabolites from bromobenzene and thiobenzamide, identify their cellular protein targets, and elucidate the contribution of their protein covalent binding to the hepatotoxicity caused by the parent compounds. His group has also studied mechanisms of aliphatic and aromatic hydroxylation, cyclopropylamines as suicide substrates for P450s, and the toxicity and metabolism of transition metal organometallics such as ferrocene.

He is very grateful for the opportunities he has had at KU to work with so many outstanding students, postdocs and faculty colleagues, and thanks them all for everything they taught him as well.

Bob Hanzlik KANU Interview (July 17, 2009)

By Brendan M. Lynch

Researcher Robert Hanzlik, a professor of medicinal chemistry at KU since 1971, studies drug metabolism and toxicology.

“I look at simple chemicals that one might encounter in industry, in agriculture, in the environment, or even as drugs, and I ask the question — how do they cause toxic effects on cells?” said Hanzlik. “Despite the commonly over-hyped fears about chemical toxicity, there are good reasons for wanting to understand it on a mechanistic basis, so it can be controlled or avoided as desired.”

In addition to his own research, Hanzlik directs the Center of Biomedical Research Excellence in Protein Structure and Function at the University of Kansas.

The center has two missions, to do basic research on proteins, and to recruit, support and mentor junior faculty in the biosciences at universities around Kansas, including KU, the KU Medical Center, Kansas State University and Wichita State University. Funded by the National Institutes of Health in 2002 with a $10.1 million grant, and renewed last year with another $10.1 million award, the program also receives support from the KU Center for Research and the Kansas Technology Enterprise Corporation.

Today, this COBRE supports eight outstanding junior scientists. Hanzlik said that recruiting and supporting the best researchers available is his number-one priority. That support includes access to technical experts and sophisticated equipment in the Center's three Core Labs.

“Equipment doesn’t do research," Hanzlik said, "people do research. It’s nice to have great equipment, but it’s really important to support good people on a continuing basis. That’s when real progress gets made — when you have good people and sustain them over a period of time.”

Indeed, Hanzlik’s efforts to recruit and support young researchers in Kansas has helped a number of them establish outstanding reputations for their research programs. Some examples include Brain Blagg, Heather Desaire, Jeffrey Staudinger and Roberto De Guzman at KU’s Lawrence campus; Liskin Swint-Kruse at the KU medical center; Anna Zolkiewska at K-State; and George Bousfield at WSU.

Getting these bright but independent young investigators to interact is probably the most important thing that the Center and I do," Hanzlik said. "It's my mission to get them to challenge each other, learn from each other, and take their research into new directions that they might never have done working alone. It's really very satisfying to see that work out in practice."