Discovering Disease Treatments

Through a multi-institutional grant, researchers at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy are helping to discover potential treatments for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) while fulfilling the University’s greater mission to expand its neuroscience research efforts.

In September 2019, the NIH National Institute on Aging announced a collaborative five-year, $37.5 million project between the Eshelman School of Pharmacy and five research institutions. The grant supports the creation of the Open-AD Drug Discovery Center, whose purpose is to develop new chemical probes for therapeutic targets for Alzheimer’s.

UNC-Chapel Hill oversees the Medicinal Chemistry Core (MCC), which designs and synthesizes the chemical compounds to act as high-quality probes to investigate novel targets that, if validated, could lead to new treatments.

Stephen Frye, Ph.D., Director of the Center for Integrative Chemical Biology and Drug Discovery (CICBDD), is leading the University’s effort. Frye said this project is especially groundbreaking as the MCC will be creating new probes for unexplored and under-explored targets in AD.

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