Orange Alert

Medicinal Chemist Robert Doyle Named Jack and Laura H. Milton Endowed Professor

The professorship will enhance Doyle’s work in both the lab and classroom, where he and students are working to develop new drugs to treat diseases and syndromes including diabetes, obesity and cachexia.

Jan. 11, 2024, by Dan Bernardi

Robert Doyle in lab
Medicinal chemist Robert Doyle, inaugural Jack and Laura H. Milton Professor in A&S.

Robert Doyle, Dean’s Professor of Chemistry in the College of Arts and Sciences (A&S) and Associate Professor of Medicine and Pharmacology at SUNY Upstate Medical University, has been named the inaugural Jack and Laura H. Milton Professor in A&S. A renowned medicinal chemist with an interest in pharmaceutical drug development, Doyle’s cutting-edge research focuses on peptide-based treatments, which offer significant and consistent weight loss and glucose control but without common, negative side-effects such as nausea/vomiting.

One such peptide, called GEP44, is a novel drug that could reduce eating and boost calorie burn, while also controlling glucose levels. With diabetes becoming a global epidemic, GEP44 – which prompts users to expend more energy and triggers a switch in the brain to make them feel full – offers a promising approach to manage the disease, which afflicts more than 38 million Americans.

Doyle’s work earned him the 2022 American Chemical Society (ACS) Central New York Section Award in the field of chemistry and chemical engineering, and he was invited to share his findings at the spring meeting of the ACS in March of 2023. Among his other awards and honors for his research and teaching, he was the CNY College Educator of the Year (2013), received the Chancellor’s Citation for Excellence at Syracuse (2020), and was awarded the Henning Anderson Prize from the European Society for Pediatric Endocrinology (2022). He has graduated 24 Ph.D. students to date, currently holds three National Institutes of Health (NIH) R01 grants and sits on the NIH ‘Advancing Therapeutics’ review panel. In addition, he regularly reviews proposals from national funding agencies in the U.K., Switzerland, Poland and Denmark.

A&S Dean Behzad Mortazavi notes that Doyle’s excellence in the classroom and the laboratory are benefiting not only the students in A&S, but potentially millions of people around the world.

“Professor Doyle exemplifies our ethos of creatively and collectively seeking answers to complex problems, helping to make the world healthier, more hopeful and more humane,” says Mortazavi. “I look forward to the continued advances he and his students will make here in A&S, thanks to the support of the late Laura and Jack Milton, who made this professorship possible, and for which we are profoundly grateful.”

Doyle joined the chemistry faculty at Syracuse in 2005, was promoted to full professor in 2014, and in 2016 was named the Laura J. and L. Douglas Meredith Professor. He received a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Dublin and completed postdoctoral research fellowships at Australian National University and Yale University prior to joining the faculty at Syracuse.

Doyle’s professorship is made possible by a generous contribution from the estate of Laura and Jack Milton. The Miltons graduated from Syracuse in 1951 and were longtime supporters of the University. Laura served as a member of the Arts and Sciences Board of Visitors for many years and Jack was a University Trustee. The couple’s ardent support has fostered numerous educational opportunities, events and lectures, and contributed to the construction of several campus facilities, including the Life Sciences Complex.


Robert Doyle Jack and Laura H. Milton Professor and Dean's Professor of Chemistry

Media Contact

Dan Bernardi