Patrick Fier, Merck scientist and UNI alum, to speak on developing new medicinesThe University of Northern Iowa Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry will welcome Patrick Fier to speak as part of this year’s Leland Wilson Lecture Series.

Fier will present “The Importance of Organic Chemistry in Developing New Medicines” at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 3, in the Lantz Auditorium in McCollum Science Hall. The event is free and open to the public.

A Principal Scientist at Merck — a pharmaceutical company focused on research and scientific innovation — Fier recently worked on developing the large-scale production of an antiviral medicine to treat COVID. He received his bachelor’s degree in chemistry/biochemistry from UNI in 2009 and went on to earn his PhD in organic chemistry at the University of California at Berkeley.

He was named to the 2021 American Chemical Society’s “Talented 12” list, which highlights early-career researchers in the chemical sciences who are tackling difficult global problems.

“We are very excited to welcome Patrick back to UNI and for him to share his experience and accomplishments working in the pharmaceutical research industry,” said UNI Chemistry & Biochemistry Department Head, Bill Harwood. “The purpose of the Wilson Lecture is to bring the frontiers of science to the community that we live in. Showing folks how science works in their lives and explaining it in a way that everybody can get excited about is very important. We want to keep people enthused about the wonders of the world around them.”

The Leland Wilson Lecture Series, an endowed lectureship that brings in speakers annually, is named for Professor Leland Wilson, first department head and professor in the Department of Chemistry. It was initiated in 1997 by colleagues, family and former students to honor Professor Wilson's many contributions to UNI.

Bill Harwood, department head, chemistry and biochemistry,, 319-273-2052. 


Bill Harwood, department head, chemistry and biochemistry