COSAM News Articles 2023 April Alumni Spotlight: Dr. Frank Ivy Carroll: “Outwork your competition”

Alumni Spotlight: Dr. Frank Ivy Carroll: “Outwork your competition”

Published: 04/11/2023

By: Ethan Martin

The captivating and second-to-none welcoming atmosphere of the Auburn Family enables the success of any who strives for it. This is the feeling that Dr. Frank Ivy Carroll enjoyed the most during his time here on the plains. After graduating with a degree in Chemistry in 1957 he’s displayed the Auburn Spirit through his later studies and career. Dr. Carroll is prominently known for his achievements and advancements in drug research and discovery. 

At a young age Frank Ivy Carroll was an outdoors enthusiast. Spending a lot of his time hunting, fishing, and playing basketball, he first decided that he wanted to pursue a career away from a desk. However, before arriving on the plains, Carroll attended West Georgia College, now known as the University of West Georgia, where he found interest in Chemistry through one of his professors. “I enjoyed solving unknown compounds,” Carroll remarks as what compelled him in the field. Also, while attending West Georgia for two years, Carroll played point guard for the men’s basketball team. Dr. Carroll relates his motivation in drug discovery to his competitive spirit in basketball, and in life. “I wanted to win by outworking my competition,” a virtue that would fuel his passion for science. Not only did his competitive edge keep him going in his research but realizing that he could help others through medicine pushed him into drug research and discovery. 

While at Auburn, Carroll recollects that the environment was welcoming and encountering “some of the nicest people [he’s] ever met.” Along with his studies, Carroll also formed an intramural basketball team and competed in the intramural basketball league at Auburn. His joy of Chemistry was further amplified through his Organic Chemistry professor. Advice that Dr. Carroll urges students pursuing a degree in science is to “practice and do more than anyone else,” this is how you succeed. Through his generous support of COSAM, Carroll still helps others succeed through contributing to scholarships within the college. Dr. Carroll would later go onto receive a doctorate degree in Chemistry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1961. He believes that his time and experiences at Auburn greatly prepared him for his studies at UNC, and he is proud to know that Auburn is still well preparing students today. 

During his career, Dr. Carroll states that he never imagined that he would be responsible for developing 60 patents and over 500 research publications. He contributes his work and efforts to making the world a better place and ultimately helping others in need through medicine. His career began at the Research Triangle Institute, or RTI, where he was positioned as a research chemist. In 1996, Dr. Carroll advanced to the vice president position of RTI’s Chemistry and Life Sciences Group, where he served until 2001. Furthermore, Carroll also held the title of director of Center for Organic Chemistry and Medicinal Chemistry (1975-2001) where his research in drug discovery would prosper. With advancements in medicinal research in cancer, malaria, and Parkinson’s disease, Dr. Carroll has made strides to better understand these afflictions. In addition to disease research, Carroll has also been influential in producing treatment medication for nicotine and cocaine addictions. His patents range from areas in biochemistry, medicinal chemistry, and organic synthesis. Along with receiving multiple awards for his work, Dr. Carroll was recognized as a Distinguished Alumnus by the College of Sciences and Mathematics in 2012. To encapsulate his journey, Dr. Ivy Carroll was inducted into the ACS Medicinal Chemistry Hall of Fame. His other career projects include working for the Department of Defense. Today, Dr. Carroll still keeps up with everything Auburn including campus news and Auburn Basketball, and exhibiting what it means to be a part of the Auburn Family. 


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