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National Cancer Institute names Emory to nationwide NCI chemical biology consortium
Date:8/12/2009

Emory University's Chemical Biology Discovery Center has been selected by SAIC-Frederick, Inc. (SAIC-F) to be part of an 11-member national consortium aimed at accelerating the discovery and development of new and innovative, targeted cancer therapies. SAIC-F is the prime contractor to the National Cancer Institute at Frederick (NCI-Frederick).

The national Chemical Biology Consortium (CBC) will bridge the gap between basic scientific investigation and clinical research supported by the NCI. The consortium will focus on unmet medical needs, such as drugs that are of low interest to the pharmaceutical industry but that could have significant benefit for patients. It is expected to bring the skills of hundreds of chemical biologists, oncologists, and synthetic and medicinal chemists to bear on particularly challenging problems in molecular oncology.

Examples of the CBC's innovative discovery pathways could include re-engineering investigators' assays into high-throughput screens; rapidly synthesizing natural products that show promise as drug targets in a particular form of cancer; making new compounds water-soluble; and accelerating the development of drug candidates with great clinical promise.

As one of three Specialized Application Centers in the NCI Consortium, the Emory Chemical Biology Discovery Center will focus its broad capability and special expertise on protein-protein interactions in cancer through assay development and implementation, high-throughput screening, medicinal chemistry optimization and informatics, with the participation of an intellectual property specialist.

"Recent advances in our understanding of the molecular basis of cancer have led scientists to identify oncogenes and pathways involved in tumor development that offer unprecedented opportunities for innovative drug discovery," says Haian Fu, PhD, director of the Emory Chemical Biology Discovery Center and principal investigator of the Emory CB
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Contact: Holly Korschun
hkorsch@emory.edu
404-727-3990
Emory University
Source:Eurekalert

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