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Welch Foundation gives $1.6 million for drug discovery research
Date:9/11/2007

o predict molecular structure and function as well as better synthetic methods to check the computational predictions," Gilbertson continued. "At the same time, we'll be working on the first steps of discovering new drugs and scientifically useful small molecules."

The new program will complement the overall efforts of the GCC CG, according to Dr. Peter Davies, executive vice president for research at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston and co-director of the consortium, which is part of the Gulf Coast Consortia (GCC), a collaborative alliance for interdisciplinary bioscience research and training including UTMB, UT-Houston, Baylor College of Medicine, Rice University, the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and the University of Houston. “The GCC CG was created to tackle the problem of finding molecules that can be used either as tools for research or potentially as new drugs, in a collaborative academic setting," Davies said. "This generous gift from the Welch Foundation will ultimately help us harness the power of computational chemistry to much more efficiently select the compounds that go into our screening centers."

Dr. Michael Mancini, also a GCC CG co-director and an associate professor of molecular and cellular biology at Baylor College of Medicine, echoed Davies' comments, citing as an example the new program's potential benefits for his own research group. "We are now developing the tools that allow us to screen molecules for important activity at high rates using microscopy-based approaches," Mancini said. “This grant will help us interface well with the chemists and evaluate new compounds more quickly."

Other GCC researchers also expressed their gratitude for the Welch Foundation's gift, including theoretical chemist B. Montgomery Petitt, director of the University of Houston's Institute for Molecular Design. “Computational chemistry is a real strength in the GCC, and it's exciting that the We
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Contact: Jim Kelly
jpkelly@utmb.edu
409-772-8791
University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
Source:Eurekalert

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