Chemistry and Biochemistry

Daniel L. Simmons Retirement and Earl M. Woolley Recognition Dinner

Posted: May 09, 2017

The Daniel L. Simmons Retirement and Earl M. Woolley Recognition dinner, was held 28 March 2017 in the Benson Building. David V. Dearden, the department Chair, gave the introductory remarks, followed by thank-you remarks from Daniel L. Simmons.

“Some of you were involved in a very unusual undertaking at BYU, a lawsuit against the largest pharmaceutical company in the world . . . I am honored by your presence and for my association with you as family, friends, and as colleagues in this wonderful department over the past 28 years. Thank you, and I am so grateful that you are here,” said Simmons.

All those involved in any way with the court case were recognized by Daniel Simmons and thanked for their efforts.

Simmons joined the Department of Chemistry in 1989; shortly after coming to BYU he discovered how to make a new aspirin-type drug, COX-2, during the time when Earl M. Woolley was Department Chair. From 1997-2014 Simmons directed the BYU Cancer Research Center, during which Simmons contracted BYU and together they began the 14 year legal battle against Pfizer’s summary judgement on the inverntorship of Celebrex. The notarizing of Simmons’s discovery, at the suggestion of Woolley, was key to winning Simmons the court case. Simmons retired from the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry in 2016.

Dearden read the Pfizer history per Woolley’s and Simmons’s recollection and then announced the establishment of the Earl M. Woolley Fund which will, among other things, be used to grant Earl M. Wooley Research Innovation Awards to faculty.

Simmons concluded: “Earl M. Woolley is a not only a pillar of our department, he played a pivotal part in my career, for which I am extremely grateful. I have requested that funds coming from the Pfizer settlement to the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry be used to establish the Earl M. Woolley Fund.” 

Photographer: Lauren Stolworthy

Writer: Taelin Wilford