John Pezzuto headshot

John M. Pezzuto

In an announcement made today, John M. Pezzuto, founding dean of the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy, will leave the university at the end of this year to assume his new duties as professor and dean of the Arnold and Marie Schwartz College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences at Long Island University (LIU) located in Brooklyn, NY. Pezzuto became the first dean of the only college of pharmacy in the Pacific region when he left Purdue University in 2006.

“I came to UH Hilo from a top-ranked pharmacy college because it presented the challenge of starting a college of pharmacy where there was none before,” Pezzuto said. “My wife Mimi and I and our three children have cherished our time in the Aloha State. The decision of taking these next steps has been extraordinarily difficult. But LIU is one of the oldest pharmacy programs in the country, and I feel that I am uniquely suited to help them reach the next levels of preeminence.”

When Pezzuto arrived in Hawaiʻi, the College of Pharmacy had no offices, no staff, no students and no assurance of a future. He methodically assembled a staff of world-renowned faculty who would build the school into what is now a contender for one of the top-25 ranked colleges in the U.S.

“It has been a great pleasure working with someone of Dean Pezzuto’s caliber,” said Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Matt Platz. “This is sad news for the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo, but because he has worked diligently on preparing the college for this day, I am confident we are ready for the next steps. I have no doubt his name will live on in the future of our college, and we are grateful for the work he has done to get us to this point.”

More on Pezzuto

Pezzuto is well known for his research that identified the cancer-preventive component of grapes and grape products known as resveratrol. After the research report was published in Science Magazine in 1997, many more stories in scientific journals as well as mainstream media focused on the discovery that gave real promise to the fight against cancer. According to the Web of Science Core Collection, his work on resveratrol has been cited more than 3,000 times.

Most recently, he was given the top research award from the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, as well as an award from the Cantine Due Palme in Italy for outstanding contributions in the field of research and culture.

Prior to joining UH Hilo, he served as professor and dean of the College of Pharmacy, Nursing and Health Sciences at Purdue University. Pezzuto has been supported by the National Institutes of Health continuously since 1977. He is the author of more than 500 manuscripts, editor of the journal Pharmaceutical Biology, holder of many patents, a member of several editorial boards and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

The university plans to launch a nationwide search to identify the next dean of the college.

This Post Has 4 Comments
  1. This is a real loss. I only met John once when TAMC was doing a jt training program. If you fndraisers and philanthropists had stepped up to the plate to get him the bldg required for accreditation he would be here today.

    Best Wishes John, from a Brooklyn girl. You will be happier at LIU.

    Barbara Melamed

  2. What a great human being Prof. Pezzuto is ? I met him in 2008 and spent one year in his laboratory at UHH under Indo-US S & T Programme.
    Outstanding Academician, Excellent Researcher, Marvellous Person and exceptional charismatic leader who not only built the eccentric Pharmacy College in entire pacific region from the scratch but also make it to the top 25 colleges in USA.
    I salute him.

    Suaib Luqman

  3. Hi John,
    Good luck at LIU.I have pleasant memories of my visit to Hilo.You have the drive and organizational skills to bring them up more than a notch.Being a native New Yorker I followed LIU basketball in the 50’s.They were fantastic but the whole team was on the take.

  4. Honorable Prof. John M. Pezzuto

    I am working as assistant Professor at G.C. Women University, Sialkot. My research field is Medicinal plants with specialization in toxicology and pharmacology. I did pharmacological evaluation of medicinal plants through different in vitro and in vivo screenings.I have to discuss two matters.
    1. I am planning for postdoc and very keen to work with you at your prestigious lab. Is is possible to accommodate me for postdoc in any of your running project?
    2. I am planning to apply for a project “NRPU” (National research program for Universities) announced by HEC of Pakistan. I want to analyze anticancer activities of compounds using various cancer cell lines. I am very much interested for collaboration with your lab. I need collaboration letter which will strengthen my project.

    Waiting for your kind reply.

    Thanks and regards

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