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

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

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