It is with great sadness that we inform you of the recent passing of Dr. Subramaniyan Narayanaswami, or ‘Swami’ as he was affectionately known to his fellow patent information colleagues in his home country of England, as well as more widely in Europe and the US.
Swami was from southern India. He completed his PhD studies in Madras before moving to England in the early 1970s, embarking on post-doctoral research with Professor Gordon Kirby firstly at Loughborough and then in Glasgow.
He joined Pfizer in 1973 in the research centre in Sandwich, Kent, where he was to remain for a major part of his career. He accepted the position of research chemist in the Discovery laboratories, working for many years on the anti-fungal project. This culminated in Swami completing the first synthesis of voriconazole, which was to prove in clinical studies to be highly effective in treating invasive fungal infections. Pfizer brought the drug to market as Vfend. Ultimately, he was bestowed with a Pfizer Achievement Award, presented to him by the President of Pfizer Global R&D.
Subsequently, Swami made the switch from practicing chemistry in the laboratory to a new career as a specialist in patent information research and analysis. He immediately immersed himself in this technically challenging area, quickly mastering the technical tools of the trade and gaining the important understanding of the relevant intellectual property law.
Swami built these new capabilities on the foundation of a deep understanding of the science behind pharmaceutical R&D, always urging his colleagues to “never lose sight of the science”. Swami was a great coach and mentor to many of his colleagues worldwide, generously sharing his time, his experience and wisdom with others.
Over the years Swami built a reputation as a deeply intelligent scientist, a talented patent search expert and a true friend to those who knew him. He was a jovial colleague who always saw the bright side of things and was quick to share a joke and a smile and who never failed to warm our hearts with his love and compassion for people. He will be sorely missed.
He is survived by his wife, Chitra, and two daughters.