Dr. Nariman B. Mehta                                                                                              

A Scientist and Chemist







Nariman B. Mehta was born in Bombay, India April 8, 1920. He began his schooling at St. Xavier College,  

where he received a B.S. in Chemistry/Physics and a B.A. in English/Economics. Being an exceptional student,  

Nari was hired to private tutor over 80 students in math, physics, chemistry, and marine engineering. In 1939, 


he and a fellow student wrote and published “ Textbook of Theoretical and Practical Physics.”


In 1947, Nari was invited by Joseph E Seagram & Sons to be a trainee in their research lab and study 

fermentation and distillation. This was all possible by winning the Tata Scholarship, a grant from Herman Wilkie 

for exceptional students.


From 1949 – 1952, while on a US Navy Fellowship, Mehta earned his Ph.D. and minor in chemical engineering, at Kansas University 

under Dr. William E. McEwen, working on the synthesis of emetine. For the next three years, Nari was a Professor of Physical

Chemistry at Wilberforce University in Ohio.


In 1957, Nari joined the pharmaceutical company, Burroughs Wellcome, Inc., now GlaxoSmithKline, where he worked on 

neuropsychopharmacological potential drugs. He designed, synthesized and patented a single compound [BW 323U66] Bupropion, an 

entirely novel class of chemical structure for an antidepressant. In the spring of 1986, the Federal Drug and Administration approved  

it. It was the first drug approved by the FDA for “Cessation of Smoking” [Zyban]. Bupropion has four physiological activates: 1) 

antidepressants, 2) stop smoking, 3) increase in libido (women), 4) mild weight loss. Today, GlaxoSmithKline has sold over £900M 

under the name Wellbutrin. During his career, he was responsible for over 40 patents and published papers.


Nari now resides with his 3 children and 4 grandchildren in North Carolina.




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