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Joyce A. Kohler 1946-2021


Joyce Kohler was a past president (2007-2008) of our society. She received her B.A. in Biological Sciences from Rutgers University and a certificate in Medical Technology from the Lyons Institute. She was vice president of the Beta Zeta Chapter of the Alpha Sigma Lambda National Honor Society, co-founder and executive board member of the Rutgers - Honors College Alumni Society, and 2nd vice-president of the University College Rutgers - New Brunswick Alumni Association.


Joyce was employed as a research microbiologist in infectious disease with Merck for 37 years and then as a technical writer with Abbott Labs for the 7 years preceding her death. At Merck, she was involved in discovery and development of anti-infective agents, contributing to the success of INVANZ®, PRIMAXIN®, PRODUCIL®, MEFOXIN®, HEARTGARD®, MECTIZAN® and STROMECTOL®. Her work resulted in several publications including two Science articles and a patent (see publications below). Following early retirement, she returned to Merck for two years as curator and international liaison for the Merck Culture Collection and as data manager and document editor for various infectious disease projects. She then joined Abbott Laboratories as a Technical Writer and Specialist in Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and received the Abbott Point of Care President’s Award and an award for Outstanding Project Management and Teamwork.


Joyce was a dynamic leader always ready to take ownership of projects that interested her. She volunteered her time freely and often. She will be missed. I wish I’d had the pleasure of meeting her.


1. Blizzard, TA; Kim, RM; Morgan, JD; Chang, J; Kohler, J; Kilburn, R; Chapman, K; Hammond, ML. (2002) Antibacterial activity of G6-quaternary ammonium derivatives of a lipophilic vancomycin analogue. Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters 12:849-852.

2. Dorso, KL; Jackson, JJ; Gill, CJ; Kohler, J; Silver, LL. (2001) Carbapenem antibacterial compositions and methods of the treatment. USA US6221859B1.

3. Ge, M; Chen, Z; Onishi, HR; Kohler, J; Silver, LL; Kerns, R; Fukuzawa, S; Thompson, C; Kahne, D. (1999) Vancomycin derivatives that inhibit peptidoglycan biosynthesis without binding D-Ala-D-Ala. Science 284:507-511.

4. Kerns, R; Dong, SD; Fukuzawa, S; Carbeck, J; Kohler, J; Silver, L; Kahne, D. (2000) The role of hydrophobic substituents in the biological activityof glycopeptide antibiotics. Journal of the American Chemical Society 122:12608-12609.

5. Kohler, J; Darland, G. (1988) Protoplast fusion in Streptomyces avermitilis. Journal of Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology 3:311-320.

6. Kohler, J; Dorso, KL; Young, K; Hammond, GG; Rosen, H; Kropp, H; Silver, LL. (1999) In vitro activities of the potent, broad-spectrum carbapenem MK-0826 (L-749,345) against broad-spectrum β-lactamase-and extended-spectrum β-lactamase-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae and Escherichia coli clinical isolates. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 43:1170-1176.

7. Ratcliffe, RW; Wilkening, RR; Wildonger, KJ; Waddell, ST; Santorelli, GM; Parker, DL; Morgan, JD; Blizzard, TA; Hammond, ML; Heck, JV; Huber, J; Kohler, J; Dorso, KL; StRose, E; Sundelof, JG; May, WJ; Hammond, GG. (1999) Synthesis and properties of 2-(naphthosultamyl) methyl-carbapenems with potent anti-MRSA activity: Discovery of L-786,392. Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters 9:679-684.

8. Rosen, H; Hajdu, R; Silver, L; Kropp, H; Dorso, K; Kohler, J; Sundelof, JG; Huber, J; Hammond, GG; Jackson, JJ. (1999) Reduced immunotoxicity and preservation of antibacterial activity in a releasable side-chain carbapenem antibiotic. Science 283:703-706.

9. Roy, RS; Yang, P; Kodali, S; Xiong, Y; Kim, RM; Griffin, PR; Onishi, HR; Kohler, J; Silver, LL; Chapman, K. (2001) Direct interaction of a vancomycin derivative with bacterial enzymes involved in cell wall biosynthesis. Chemistry & Biology 8:1095-1106.

10. Waddell, ST; Ratcliffe, RW; Szumiloski, SP; Wildonger, KJ; Wilkening, RR; Blizzard, TA; Huber, J; Kohler, J; Dorso, K; Rose, ES. (1995) Benzothiazolylthio carbapenems: potent anti-MRSA agents. Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters 5:1427-1432.

11. Wilkening, RR; Ratcliffe, RW; Wildonger, KJ; Cama, LD; Dykstra, K; DiNinno, FP; Blizzard, TA; Hammond, ML; Heck, JV; Dorso, KL; StRose, E; Kohler, J; Hammond, GG. (1999) Synthesis and activity of 2-(sulfonamido) methyl-carbapenems: Discovery of a novel, anti-MRSA 1, 8-naphthosultam pharmacophore. Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters 9:673-678.

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