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Timmermann, Barbara

Timmermann, Ph.D.
Year Inducted: 
Barbara Timmerman, Ph.D.
  • KU Woman of Distinction
  • University of Kansas Distinguished Professor, Department of Medicinal Chemistry 
  • Director, Center for Cancer Experimental Therapeutics

Dr. Barbara Timmermann epitomizes the University’s Bold Aspirations. She is internationally known for her research in bioprospecting and has brought in more than $20 million in research funding since coming to KU. Her life’s work has made our bodies and world healthier.

Dr. Timmermann was raised in Argentina, receiving her B.S. in Biological Sciences at the National University of Cordoba, Argentina, in 1970. She moved to the United States in the early 1970s to pursue PhD studies at the University of Texas – Austin, finishing in 1980. In 1981, Dr. Timmermann joined the faculty at the University of Arizona, ascended the professorial ranks and in the year 2000 was named a Regents Professor, the highest honor accorded by the University to full professors whose excellent achievements merit national and international distinction.

Dr. Timmermann joined the University of Kansas School of Pharmacy faculty as a distinguished professor and served as chair of the Department of Medicinal Chemistry from 2005 to 2012. She is currently the director of the NIH-funded Center for Cancer Experimental Therapeutics. Her work at the Center for Caner Experimental Therapeutics is likely to lead to the discovery of potential drugs to address human health problems, particularly cancer and is helping to elevate the university’s status in the health care industry.

At a time when the wisdom and resources of indigenous peoples is being exploited on a nearly daily basis, Dr. Timmermann’s approach to harvesting plants with pharmacological value should be the standard for the industry. Her colleague, Dr. Mabel Rice, praised Timmermann for her work  in establishing “collaborative agreements among national governments, native people and drug companies for the development of modern medicines based on the wisdom of native peoples.”

Dr. Timmermann is highly regarded for her innovative research and commitment to social justice. A colleague wrote that one of Dr. Timmermann’s most lasting accomplishments is her role in “establishing international standards to ensure the responsible management and equitable economic benefit of the global search for new therapeutic agents for the treatment of diseases.” 

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