Navigation Links
New $11 million center to speed production of new compounds for drug discovery
Date:10/20/2008

Scientists from three Chicago-area universities have joined forces to develop new ways of building state-of-the-art chemical libraries that will help identify new compounds for future drug development and basic biomedical research.

Scientists from the University of Chicago, Northwestern University and the University of Illinois at Chicago will establish the Chicago Tri-Institutional Center for Chemical Methods and Library Development with a $9.2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health. Furthermore, the Chicago Biomedical Consortium, which is funded by the Searle Funds at the Chicago Community Trust, has awarded a $2 million Lever grant to support the core infrastructure of the center and to make its resources available to the entire Chicago scientific community.

"In order to develop new drugs, you need to start with new compounds," said Center Director Sergey Kozmin, Associate Professor in Chemistry at the University of Chicago.

Kozmin's laboratory screens compounds specifically for their ability to kill cancer cells, but the chemical libraries that the Chicago Tri-Institutional Center produces will be readily available to many biology labs across the nation. The center also will broadly test for potential use against neurodegenerative disorders, infectious diseases and other therapeutic targets.

During the last two years, Kozmin's laboratory has used parallel organic synthesis, which enabled them to perform many reactions simultaneously, to build 3,000 new molecules in his search for anti-cancer compounds. Now he and his associates have the resources to build a facility next year in the Searle Chemistry Laboratory on the University of Chicago campus that will be able to synthesize new compounds 10 times as fast.

The new center's work will focus on the synthesis of what biologists call "small molecules," Kozmin said. "Compared to large proteins, organic molecules that become drugs are rather small in size, however, such small molecules can make a big impact," he said.

Many existing drugs share similar molecular structures. Future advances in drug discovery and basic biomedical research both depend on the ability to more efficiently synthesize new compounds with significantly different molecular structures.

Working with Kozmin to establish the center were four University of Chicago colleagues: Hisashi Yamamoto, the Arthur Holly Compton Distinguished Service Professor in Chemistry; Viresh Rawal, Professor in Chemistry; Milan Mrksich, Professor in Chemistry; and Stephen Kron, Associate Professor in Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology.

Collaborating from Northwestern University is Karl Scheidt, the Irving M. Klotz Research Professor in Chemistry; and from the University of Illinois at Chicago are Vladimir Gevorgyan, Professor of Chemistry; and Jie Liang, Professor of Bioengineering.

"Each of these groups has expertise in different areas of organic chemistry," Kozmin said. "The idea is to combine this intellectual effort in order to produce these new molecules much more efficiently than anything that has been done before."

Organic chemists traditionally have collaborated with biologists while competing with other members of their own discipline who work on the same problem. "Here the idea is different," Kozmin said. "We would like to address a problem, but we would like to see how each of us can help each other in addressing that problem."

Supporting Kozmin's efforts to land the new NIH center in Chicago were Donald Levy, Vice President for Research and for National Laboratories; Robert Fefferman, Dean of the Physical Sciences Division; and Michael Hopkins, Professor and Chairman of the Chemistry Department.

"The National Institutes of Health this year funded five centers nationwide for chemical methodology and library development, four of which were renewals for existing centers. It's a great tribute to the scientific creativity and reputation of Sergey and his colleagues that their center is the only new one," Hopkins said.

"The Center will greatly bolster Chicago's stature as an emerging force in chemical biology, drug discovery and biomedicine, and will be a centerpiece of the Searle Laboratory when it reopens after renovation next spring."


'/>"/>

Contact: Steve Koppes
skoppes@uchicago.edu
773-702-8366
University of Chicago
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Missouri Botanical Garden mounts milestone 6 millionth herbarium specimen
2. FSU researchers discovery leads to $1.5 million grant, potential new treatment of liver fibrosis
3. L-1 Identity Solutions Awarded New Massachusetts RMV Drivers License Contract Valued at an Estimated $32 Million
4. L-1 Identity Solutions Receives $5.9 Million Drivers License Contract Expansion from the State of Mississippi
5. NIH awards Clemson bioengineer $1.5 million to improve durability of tissue heart valves
6. £2 million study to reveal workings of dementia genes
7. Almost 7 million pregnant in sub-Saharan Africa infected with hookworms; at risk of anaemia
8. CCNY receives $5 million NSF grant to establish center for nanostructure applications
9. Burnham researcher awarded $8 million grant
10. NIEHS invests $21.25 million to find environmental causes of Parkinsons disease
11. Cornell gets $10 million NSF grant to establish new sustainability institute
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
New $11 million center to speed production of new compounds for drug discovery
(Date:6/2/2016)... NEW YORK , June 2, 2016   The ... (Weather), is announcing Watson Ads, an industry-first capability in which ... advertising, by being able to ask questions via voice or ... Marketers have long ... with the consumer, that can be personal, relevant and valuable; ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... IRVINE, Calif. , May 24, 2016 Ampronix facilitates superior patient care ... LMD3251MT  3D medical LCD display is the latest premium product recently added to ... ... ... Sony 3d Imaging- LCD Medical Display- Ampronix News ...
(Date:5/12/2016)... , May 12, 2016 WearablesResearch.com , ... published the overview results from the Q1 wave of ... recent wave was consumers, receptivity to a program where ... with a health insurance company. "We were ... share," says Michael LaColla , CEO of Troubadour ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... LOUISVILLE, Ky. , June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... from two Phase 1 clinical trials of its ... double-blind, placebo-controlled, single and multiple ascending dose studies ... and pharmacodynamics (PD) of subcutaneous injection in healthy ... APL-2 subcutaneously (SC) either as a single dose ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... NEW YORK , June 23, 2016 ... the trading session at 4,833.32, down 0.22%; the Dow Jones ... the S&P 500 closed at 2,085.45, down 0.17%. Stock-Callers.com has ... INFI ), Nektar Therapeutics (NASDAQ: NKTR ... BIND Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: BIND ). Learn more ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... Velocity Products, ... tools designed, tuned and optimized exclusively for Okuma CNC machining centers at The ... of a collaboration among several companies with expertise in toolholding, cutting tools, machining ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... , June 22, 2016 Cell Applications, ... allow them to produce up to one billion ... lot within one week. These high-quality, consistent stem ... preparing cells and spend more time doing meaningful, ... a proprietary, high-volume manufacturing process that produces affordable, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: