George Painter

Drug Inventor
george painter in bright blue glasses and a lab coat outdoors

George Painter, PhD, is a professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Chemical Biology at Emory University School of Medicine, CEO of Drug Innovation Ventures at Emory (DRIVE), and director of the Emory Institute for Drug Development.

Painter has decades of experience in the discovery and development of pharmaceutical agents for the biotechnology and global pharmaceutical sectors. Within three years of its start, DRIVE discovered and licensed an antiviral agent to a major pharmaceutical firm and secured major federal antiviral drug development contracts. During the past 30 years, he has played a major role in the discovery, development, and implementation of modern antiviral therapy.

Before coming to Emory in 2012, Painter cofounded and led the biotechnology firm Chimerix. Before Chimerix, he was a founding member of the management team of Triangle Pharmaceuticals, where he led the development of the now widely used HIV drug Emtriva. In 2002, Triangle was sold to Gilead Sciences.

Prior to entering the biotech sector, Painter held senior management positions in large pharmaceutical companies, including what is now GlaxoSmithKline, where he led the discovery, development, and commercialization of antiviral agents to treat HIV and hepatitis B. He holds more than 150 patents, many of which have led to approved, commercially available drugs or combinations of drugs for the treatment of HIV, hepatitis B, smallpox, influenza, and coronavirus infections. He has published more than 120 peer-reviewed papers.

Painter earned his BS in chemistry, MS in physical organic chemistry, and PhD in organic chemistry at Emory. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the California Institute of Technology.

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