U of M Institute for Therapeutics Discovery and Development (ITDD) selected for participation in a national Chemical Biology Consortium

December 16, 2022

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The University of Minnesota is joining the Chemical Biology Consortium (CBC).  The CBC, the discovery engine of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Experimental Therapeutics (NExT) Program, is administered through the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research (FNLCR), a federal national laboratory sponsored by the NCI, part of the National Institutes of Health, and currently operated by Leidos Biomedical Research, Inc. The CBC is a highly collaborative national drug discovery consortium designed to integrate all aspects of early-stage drug discovery from target validation through candidate selection, leading to the discovery of new molecular entities suitable for entry into clinical development. It was established as a network of centers to provide support to the NExT Program. Members of the consortium contribute their expertise in high throughput screening, structural biology, medicinal chemistry, compound profiling, cancer cell biology, and animal models for oncology to advance early-stage drug discovery projects through to the clinical candidate stage.

The current effort is led by the ITDD, College of Pharmacy. Dr. Gunda I. Georg will serve as the principal investigator and Dr. Vadim J. Gurvich as the project manager. Georg and Gurvich will serve on the CBC Steering Committee. The ITDD team includes Dr. Courtney Aldrich, Dr. Peter Dosa, Dr. Michael Walters, and Dr. Henry Wong. Other team members are Dr. Hideki Aihara and Dr. Anja-Katrin Bielinsky from the Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biophysics; Dr. Elizabeth Ambrose and Dr. Natalia Tretyakova from the Department of Medicinal Chemistry; Dr. Kenneth Beckman from the University of Minnesota Genomics Center; Dr. David Largaespada from the Departments of Pediatrics and Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development and Masonic Cancer Center; Dr. William Elmquist, Dr. Karunya Kandimalla, and Dr. Raj Suryanarayanan from the Department of Pharmaceutics. The team provides a wide range of expertise and capabilities in various aspects of drug discovery and development.

“Our superb infrastructure and excellent expertise and track record in anti-cancer drug discovery and development make us suited to participate in the CBC,” said Georg. “We are looking forward to this collaboration and making contributions to developing new oncology drugs”.

Dr. Douglas Ye, director of U of M Masonic Cancer Center, agrees. “It is a key goal of the University of Minnesota to provide access to technologies, services, and scientific consultation that facilitates interaction and enhances scientific productivity," he said. "In addition to the UMN capabilities, CBC will benefit from the expanded support by the “Minnesota Cancer Center Shared Resource Network”."

About the College of Pharmacy

Founded in 1892, the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy is the only pharmacy school in Minnesota, with campuses in the Twin Cities and in Duluth. The College of Pharmacy improves health through innovative education, pioneering research and interdisciplinary practice development that attends to the diverse needs of the people of Minnesota and the world.

About the ITDD

The ITDD is a research center within the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy with a mission to enhance the biomedical research infrastructure and create opportunities for drug discovery and early pre-clinical drug development through interdisciplinary research collaboration between various schools, colleges, research centers, and private companies.



Media Contacts

Dawn Tucker
College of Pharmacy
Eileen Omizo-Whittenberg
College of Pharmacy