Poster
115

UICentre (drug discovery @ UIC): Academic Collaborative Engagement in Chicago

Discussion

UICentre (drug discovery @ UIC) has been created as a campus-wide drug discovery initiative at the University of Illinois at Chicago. The mission of UICentre is to stimulate and enhance the application of chemical, pharmaceutical, and translational knowledge to elevate biomedical discoveries at the University of Illinois to a level where the benefits of clinical application will enhance human health and benefit society. The intention of UICentre is to provide seed-funding and resources for collaborative engagement of teams to coordinate projects with defined milestones leading to creation of novel composition intellectual property. Rather than to provide a service-based model of drug development, a long-term goal of UICentre is to engage more basic scientists and clinicians in translational research. To some extent, this requires a paradigm shift from NIH-funded research objectives. UICentre has been established to utilize the instrumentation and resources that are centralized at UIC and therefore has not required any large investment in infrastructure. UICentre has also leveraged strengths at the University of Illinois College of Pharmacy in natural products and pharmacognosy and in pharmacokinetics. Examples of drug discovery projects supported by UICentre and the challenges and opportunities of this model of academic drug discovery will be presented.

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