William Gerwick is a distinguished professor at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego (UCSD). He is associated with the Center for Marine Biotechnology and Biomedicine at Scripps and holds a joint professorship with the UCSD Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

His research focuses on the unique natural products of marine algae and cyanobacteria and their application in various areas of biomedicine. He has a well-funded research program that involves the collection of marine organisms from around the world, their extraction and evaluation for useful properties, and the methodical isolation of the active components. The natural products isolated by the Gerwick laboratory are being examined for anticancer, antiparasitic, anti-inflammatory, neuromodulatory, and agrochemical activities.  His laboratory also investigates the biosynthesis of marine metabolites using a combination of traditional and genomic methodologies.

Born in Oakland, CA, Gerwick received a B.S. in biochemistry from UC Davis and a Ph.D. in marine natural products chemistry/oceanography from Scripps. He completed postdoctoral work at the University of Connecticut School of Pharmacy in natural products biosynthesis, spent two years on the faculty at the University of Puerto Rico, then joined the faculty of the Oregon State University (OSU) College of Pharmacy; he became a full professor. At OSU, he served as deputy director of the Marine Freshwater Biomedical Sciences Center (MFBSC) and as director of the MFBSC Neurotoxicology Research Core.

He was a Fogarty International Senior Fellow at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm. He has been an adjunct research associate at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama, and is a member of the Moores Cancer Center at UCSD. He was a visiting professor at the University of Naples, Italy.

Among his many honors, he has received the New Investigator Research Award from the National Cancer Institute; the Sigma Xi Researcher of the Year Award, Oregon State University Chapter; and the Oregon State University International Research Award; Society Fellow of the American Society of Pharmacognosy; the UC San Diego Chancellor’s Associates Faculty Excellence Award for Excellence in Science and Engineering; and the Arthur E. Schwarting Award for Best Paper of 2011 in the Journal of Natural Products, a joint publication of the American Society of Pharmacognosy and American Chemical Society.

Gerwick is a member of the American Chemical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Society of Pharmacognosy, Sigma Xi, and Phi Kappa Phi. He has served as president of the American Society of Pharmacognosy and the Oregon Section of the American Chemical Society, and was the elected chair of the U.S.-Japan Symposium on Marine Natural Products Chemistry as well as the chair of the Gordon Research Conference on this topic. He was associate editor of the Journal of Natural Products Chemistry for 7 years. He has published nearly 300 scientific articles.

Last updated June 2013