Life Story Funeral Homes®
The exclusive providers of the Life Story Experience


Life Story Funeral Homes®
The exclusive providers of the Life Story Experience


Bryan Molloy, Ph.D.

March 30, 1939 - May 20, 2004
Indianapolis, IN



Monday, May 24, 2004
2:00 PM to 3:00 PM EDT

Life Story / Obituary


The events and accomplishments of our lives touch many people over our lifetime. Bryan B. Molloy’s accomplishments reached far beyond the scope of friends and family. Through his research millions of people were finally able to find relief from the debilitating disease known as depression. Born in Scotland on March 30, 1939, Dr. Molloy spent his childhood in Scotland. He attended St. Andrew’s University, the oldest university in Scotland, where he earned his undergraduate, Masters, and doctorate degrees. Following his schooling in Scotland, he did postdoctoral work at Stanford University, the Imperial College in London and Columbia University in New York. A man truly engrossed in his work, while at Columbia, on a pleasant Saturday, he decided to take a walk. And walk he did – the length of Manhattan Island all the way to the Staten Island Ferry, a journey of 4 hours. He took the subway back to Columbia.

He joined the pharmaceutical company of Eli Lilly in 1966 as a senior medicinal chemist. It was here at Eli Lilly that Bryan met his future wife, Kay Koch. Kay also worked at Lilly and was attracted to Bryan by his intelligence - and his eyes. They were so expressive. Not one to really laugh out loud, Bryan laughed with his eyes, and Kay loved this. When they made eye contact, Kay knew she loved this man. The couple courted for about 18 months, Kay thought engagement rings were a “rip off” so Bryan did not buy one. They were married in 1971 at a small, intimate ceremony, attended mostly by friends from college and work. The day after the ceremony, they had to drive to Chicago to catch a plane with the best man, as planes had been grounded where they were due to heavy rains. Not a very romantic beginning to a new life together.

Until just recently, Bryan and Kay lived on a farm in Hendricks County, just west of Indianapolis. Bryan loved it at the farm. His life was quiet, serene and private, a good break from the pressures of work. He often spent his time maintaining the yard and mowing the pastures, as there was no livestock to keep it trimmed. A neighboring farmer farmed the land. Bryan had a favorite Siamese cat named Casper and over the years he and Kay adopted the many “pets” that showed up at their door.

After leaving the farm, Bryan and Kay moved into a condo. The two enjoyed spending time decorating their new home and Bryan developed the hobby of finding and buying prints of famous artists. These were always diligently researched through the Internet and through discussions with art dealers. With an interest in computers that started in the '70s, he installed the hardware and a wireless network for their computer. Bryan also had his pilot’s license and at different times owned and flew a Cessna Cardinal and a Bonanza, a very fast plane. Although the Bonanza was capable of traveling great distances, Bryan usually stayed within 75 miles of the Indianapolis area. He loved to fly and would sometimes take a long lunch hour so that he could fly for a bit. A long-time “permanent resident” of the United States, Bryan became a U.S. citizen in 1990.

Dr. Molloy’s greatest achievements and accomplishments came while working at Eli Lilly. At Eli Lilly, Dr. Molloy came to understand the methodology used to design chemicals to treat specific diseases. He headed a chemistry team, which included his colleague Klaus Schmiegel,Ph.D., looking for new antidepressant drugs that had few side effects. In 1972, the two discovered the compound fluoxetine hydrochloride. In 1974, the results of this new drug discovery were published, and after clinical tests, this compound became the drug Prozac, which was released by Lilly in 1987 to treat depression. Dr. Molloy, along with Ray Fuller, Ph.D. and David Wong, Ph.D., will go down in medical history as the three researchers who found and developed the drug that revolutionized the way depression is treated. He, and his two colleagues, were awarded the Discoverers Award by the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association in 1993. He was also recognized by the Inventor’s Hall of Fame in 1999 and was the recipient of the Ronald H. Brown American Inventor Award.

In addition to his contributions in the area of the treatment of depression, during the 1970’s Dr. Molloy became involved in the development of computer programs. He later became interested in cardiovascular research and set up a pharmacology lab centered around research on cardiovascular diseases. A man whose “head never stopped” Dr. Molloy did not confine his work to just pharmacology. He worked with the Strategic Decisions Group to develop an integrated decision analysis/portfolio management tool, instrumental in the early applications of decision analysis at Lilly.

During his time at Eli Lilly, Dr. Molloy published over 100 papers and acquired over 30 patents. He became a Lilly Research Fellow in 1983. In his final years at Eli Lilly, Dr. Molloy served as a scientific advisor to upper management. Steve Paul, M.D. stated – “Dr. Molloy will be remembered as a brilliant medicinal chemist with unique scientific instincts and unparalleled drug hunting skills. He was a no-nonsense and valued member of our senior leadership team – a real LRL icon – and a much treasured and revered colleague.”

Bryan B. Molloy, Ph.D., died May 8, 2004, leaving behind a legacy of inestimable value for people the world over. His family includes his wife, Kay Koch. Memorial services will be held on May 24, 2004 at 2 p.m., at Riverwalk, 6729 Westfield Blvd. To share a memory or, In lieu of flowers, make a memorial contribution, please visit Bryan’s personal memory page at Memorial contributions may be made to Home for Friendless Animals, P.O. Box 217, Waynetown, IN 47990 or to a favorite charity. Funeral arrangements are entrusted to Leppert Mortuary, Nora Chapel (317)844-396.