Phillip Low

An internationally renowned scientist, Philip S. Low graduated from Westside in 1965 and came to Purdue University in 1976. He serves as the Ralph C. Corley Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Director of the Purdue Center for Drug Discovery—Biochemistry. Low’s research, which focuses on treating cancer and inflammatory diseases, has generated more than 50 patents and five drugs currently being used in human clinical trials. Most of the research takes place at Endocyte, Inc., which he founded at the Purdue Research Park in 1995. Other companies founded by Low include PathoChip Inc., On Target Laboratories, Inc. and HuLow LLC. Low has received both of Purdue’s awards for outstanding research, an NIH Merit Award, and several national and international research awards. He also has organized several international/ national conferences and chaired two Gordon Conferences. Low has published more than 380 articles, and serves on five editorial boards and several external advisory boards for major institutions. He also has presented more than 570 lectures on his scientific discoveries to audiences around the world. Low credits his Westside education for building the foundation for his current success. “Although I found my courses at WLHS to be quite difficult, I enjoyed them all and greatly appreciated the outstanding teachers that engendered in me a love for learning and exploring,” Low says. “I found Mr. Guy’s chemistry classes especially inspiring, and I am probably a chemist today because of his teaching.”

Low says Westside wasn’t all work and no play, however. “I had a great time participating in dance band, orchestra, marching band, and basketball,” Low says. “Because most of my close friends were involved in the above musical organizations, we would often meet after school for jam sessions. We actually became somewhat acceptable in playing Dixieland music and even made a couple of recordings of our performances.” Low says sometimes, extracurricular activities competed for his time. “When I was a senior, I remember practicing for the sectional tournament (I was the starting forward) at the same time that the orchestra was preparing for an important concert,” Low says. “Howie Howenstein marched into basketball practice and yanked me out by my shirt proclaiming that my first allegiance was to the orchestra and not basketball. Coach Berberian simply stood their speechless and submitted to Howie’s demands.” Low, who received a basketball scholarship from Brigham Young University, says the dedication afforded by his coaches and teachers paved the way for his future. “I struggled with my courses in high school (my GPA was only slightly above a B average), but what I learned at WLHS prepared me very well for the subsequent academic challenges I was soon to face,” Low says. “In fact, the further I went in my schooling, the easier I found it to be.”