Dr. Mary McCourt, professor of chemistry at Niagara University, recently received the 2020 Jacob F. Schoellkopf Medal in recognition of her achievement in chemical technology.
McCourt was selected for the award by the Western New York section of the American Chemical Society "in recognition of her pioneering contributions to the development of drug delivery methods for the treatment of breast cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer's disease and for her outstanding dedication to teaching and mentoring."
A member of the faculty of NU's department of chemistry, biochemistry and physics since 1999, McCourt holds 14 patents for the Cholestosome technology developed at NU. Cholestosomes act as a "cocoon," protecting drugs so that they can be delivered orally as well as intracellulary. Her present work is focused on developing therapies for treatment of coronaviruses, in particular COVID-19, using this Cholestosome technology. She has also conducted extensive research on urine-based biomarker analysis for diagnostic screens focused on both breast cancer and Alzheimer's disease. Efforts are under way for commercialization of the technology.
The Western New York section of the American Chemical Society has awarded the Schoellkopf Medal, which was named in honor of chemical industry entrepreneur Jacob F. Schoellkopf, founder of National Aniline Works, to one locally based chemist each year since 1931. It is the oldest ACS local section award in the nation and, in part, is a testimony of achievement in chemical technology on the Niagara Frontier.