On Feb. 10, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis celebrated the launch of the Needleman Program for Innovation and Commercialization (NPIC).

(Left to right) David H. Perlmutter, MD, executive vice chancellor for medical affairs, Philip Needleman, PhD, and Andrew D. Martin, chancellor of Washington University, pose with framed proclamation Feb. 10.

The program was established through a generous $15 million commitment from Philip and Sima Needleman, longtime benefactors of Washington University. NPIC will help WashU leverage its expertise in biomedical discovery to boost drug development and bridge the gap between the identification of promising therapeutic targets in the laboratory and the initiation of clinical trials to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of investigational drugs.

At the close of the launch event, Chancellor Andrew D. Martin presented Dr. Needleman with a special proclamation from the city of St. Louis declaring February 10, 2023, as “Dr. Phil and Sima Needleman Day” in honor of their significant contributions to health innovation and drug discovery.

The celebration of the launch of the Needleman Program for Innovation and Commercialization (NPIC) was held Friday, Feb. 10, at the Eric P. Newman Education Center Auditorium at Washington University School of Medicine.

Proclamation of Dr. Phil and Sima Needleman Day

WHEREAS, Sima Needleman, MSW, is an esteemed leader as a medical social worker in the St. Louis area, having a master’s degree in social work, dedicating years of her life to work at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, her private practice, and volunteer roles at the Washington University Brown School, and receiving the Dean’s Medal for her unwavering advocacy and significant expertise. Chief amongst her many accomplishments, Mrs. Needleman is a loving mother, dedicated wife, and faithful pioneer and community leader; and

WHEREAS, Philip Needleman, PhD, is a nationally respected leader in the drug discovery arena, a passionate advocate for discovering medicine to serve mankind, with a history of innovation in medicine impacting countless human lives, including leading the development of Celebrex, recognized for projects related to organic nitrates, blood pressure regulation, and the discovery of the atrial natriuretic factor; and

WHEREAS, Dr. Needleman has served in key leadership roles throughout his career, including at Washington University in St. Louis, as a faculty member, department chair, and associate dean. He has been instrumental as a leader in industry at Monsanto, Searle Research and Development, and Pharmacia; and

WHEREAS, Dr. Needleman has embodied an ethic of professional excellence, serving in key roles on numerous boards at Washington University, as well as in leadership roles with the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Medicine, and American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has also received numerous other awards. Chief amongst his many accomplishments, Dr. Needleman is a devoted father, dedicated husband, and unwavering innovator and leader; and

WHEREAS, due to generous support from Philip and Sima Needleman, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis is launching the Needleman Program in Innovation & Commercialization, supporting critical stages of faculty drug development to revolutionize the ecosystem of drug discovery and novel therapy research and development in the region, accelerating drug discovery efforts, bridging the gap between early basic research that identifies promising new drug candidates and financial and regulatory requirements of the pharmaceutical industry that must be navigated to get a new drug approved and on the market; and

WHEREAS, The City of St. Louis is honored to recognize the Needlemans’ distinguished careers and the continued global impact emanating from St. Louis.

Now, therefore, I, Tishaura O. Jones, Mayor of the City of St. Louis, do hereby proclaim February 10, 2023, as:
In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused to be affixed the seal of the City of St. Louis, this 10th day of February, A.D. 2023.