Established in 1997 by Thomas H. Maren in memory of Eli Kennerly Marshall Jr.

Image Credit: Johns Hopkins Medicine Communications and Public Affairs Office When a new drug for the treatment of glaucoma--based on research done by THOMAS H. MAREN, Med 1951--was first marketed in 1995, the longtime University of Florida faculty member committed part of his royalties to support basic science research and education. This professorship, which honors his Hopkins mentor, carried only one condition: the chairholder devote three hours a year to lectures or seminars on "the lineage of pharmacology." Dr. Maren, who died in 1999, was given the Hopkins Distinguished Medical Alumnus Award and in 1971 was inducted into the Hopkins Society of Scholars. Dr. Maren carried out many important pharmacological investigations on the action of sulfonamides and the ability of certain compounds to inhibit carbonic anhydrase. His work led to a series of brilliant investigations of renal physiology.

It was renowned pharmacologist ELI KENNERLY MARSHALL JR. who recruited Thomas Maren to the School of Medicine when the younger man was working as a chemist on a project at the School of Public Health. After graduation, Dr. Maren spent several years as a researcher in industry, developing an oral carbonic anhydrase inhibitor that eventually was used to treat glaucoma. He continued his research at the University of Florida Medical School and, during summers, at the Mt. Desert Island Biological Laboratory on the Maine coast.


ELI KENNERLY MARSHALL JR., A&S 1911 (PhD), Med 1917, was head of the Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics for more than two decades and was considered one of the most renowned pharmacologists of his time. After earning his doctorate in chemistry, he joined the medical faculty while earning his MD. Dr. Marshall was appointed to head his department when the eminent John J. Abel, after 30 years in the position, announced his wish to retire. Dr. Marshall established the first clinical pharmacology unit in the nation, was among the first to study the new sulfonamide drugs and developed two new such drugs, contributed to the development of antimalarial drugs, and devised a method for measuring cardiac output. The most outstanding discovery of his career was the demonstration of secretion by the renal tubules. He retired in 1955 and died in 1966.


PHILIP A. COLE, Med 1991 (MD, PhD), the E.K. Marshall and Thomas H. Maren Professor of Pharmacology, graduated from Yale University with a BS in chemistry in 1984. Following a year spent as a Churchill Scholar in Cambridge, he pursued MD-PhD studies at Johns Hopkins, graduating in 1991. His PhD research was carried out in Cecil Robinson's lab in the Department of Pharmacology and concerned chemical approaches to aromatase mechanism and inhibition. He then went on to complete residency training in Medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston in 1993. From 1993-1996, Cole was a postdoctoral research fellow in Chris Walsh's lab at Harvard and a clinical endocrine fellow at the Brigham. In 1996, Cole moved to Rockefeller University as assistant professor and head of the lab of bio-organic chemistry. In 1999, he returned to Hopkins as director of pharmacology and E.K. Marshall and Thomas H. Maren Professor.

His research career has focused on the application of chemical methods to address biomedical problems. His group's scientific achievements include the development, in collaboration with Tom Muir, of a simple and widely used method to carry out protein semi-synthesis called expressed protein ligation. His lab has applied this method to study the detailed aspects of protein phosphorylation and acetylation. In addition, his group has demonstrated that there is a dissociative transition state in protein kinase reactions and has used this model to design the first potent mechanism-based protein kinase inhibitors. Cole's lab also developed the first selective melatonin rhythm enzyme and HAT (histone acetyltransferase) enzyme inhibitors which are currently being employed to study circadian rhythm and gene regulation, respectively. Cole's group has been the first to chemically rescue a mutant enzyme (protein tyrosine kinase) in living cells and is exploiting this strategy in the analysis of cell signal transduction pathways.

Among his honors include a Damon-Runyon Scholar Award, a Burroughs-Wellcome Award in Toxicology and an Ellison Medical Foundation Award.