Arno F. Spatola was born in Albany, New York in 1944. He received his undergraduate degree in chemistry from Cornell University and his Master and Doctorate degrees from the University of Michigan with Prof. Daniel T. Longone. Under the direction of Dr. Victor J. Hruby at the University of Arizona, Dr. Spatola's postdoctoral research focused on peptide synthesis and structure-function studies, marking the beginning of his distinguished career in peptide science. This led to his 1973 recruitment by the University of Louisville's Chemistry Department to initiate a peptide research program in Louisville, Kentucky.
While at the University of Louisville, Professor Spatola became an internationally recognized peptide chemistry researcher. During his academic tenure, his major research interests included biologically active peptides, pseudopeptides, cyclic peptides, and cyclic peptide libraries. He originated the (psi) pseudopeptide nomenclature, formally adopted by IUPAC. Notable contributions include Dr. Spatola's development of backbone-modified peptides (including CH2S, CH2SO, CH2NH, and CSNH), matrix metalloprotease (MMP) inhibitors, ammonium formate catalytic transfer hydrogenation (AFCTH), and cyclic peptide libraries. Dr. Spatola authored over 140 papers and six patents during the course of his research. In 1982 and in 1990, Dr. Spatola served as a visiting professor at the University of Padova, Italy.
In 1996, Dr. Spatola founded and served as Executive Director of the University of Louisville's Institute for Molecular Diversity and Drug Design (IMD3), a multidisciplinary research and training program focusing on drug design and discovery. Dr. Spatola was a founding member of the American Peptide Society, a member of the American Chemical Society, and served on the editorial boards of the Journal of Peptide Research and Letters in Peptide Science. He was an ad hoc reviewer for the National Institutes of Health and a co-chairman of the 1990 Gordon Research Conference on Chemistry and Biology of Peptides.
In 1983, Dr Spatola founded Peptides International as an outgrowth of his research interests. Under his guidance, it has developed into the company it is today. In the words of Sir Isaac Newton, often reiterated by Arno, "if we have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants." Peptides International proudly remembers Arno F. Spatola for his contributions to peptide research and to the Company. We thank him for allowing us to stand on his shoulders and challenging all of us to go even further than we can ever hope to see.