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UNC Catalyst Hosts Rare Diseases Day Awareness Event

March 6, 2019

The UNC Catalyst for Rare Diseases hosted a meet-and-greet in the Genetic Medicine Building on Feb. 27 for Rare Diseases Day. Catalyst scientists provided guests an overview of the research group’s mission and rare disease projects. UNC Catalyst is a research group focused on understanding and counteracting rare diseases. It creates high quality research tools to explore disease pathobiology, in order to accelerate the pace of drug discovery and help define options for therapeutic intervention. “There are very few centers like Catalyst that are solely dedicated to rare diseases, nationally or internationally,” said Catalyst director Anthony Hickey, Ph.D. “We benefit … Continued


Anthony Hickey Named Director of UNC Catalyst for Rare Diseases

January 29, 2019

Anthony Hickey, Ph.D., has returned to the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy to head up the UNC Catalyst for Rare Diseases. Hickey, a professor in the Division of Pharmacoengineering and Molecular Pharmaceutics from 1993 until 2010, returns to the School after a stint at the Research Triangle Institute, where he was program director in inhaled therapeutics at the Center for Aerosol and Nanomaterials Engineering. Hickey earned his Ph.D. in pharmaceutical sciences from Aston University in Birmingham, U.K. After five years on faculty at the University of Illinois at Chicago, he came to the School in 1993. Hickey is the founder … Continued


Alves Wins Lush Prize for Artificial Intelligence Chemical Toxicity Research

January 7, 2019

Vinicius Alves, Ph.D., M.Sc., a postdoctoral research associate at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy Catalyst for Rare Diseases, is a recipient of the 2018 Lush Prize Young Researcher award. The Lush Prize rewards initiatives across science and campaigning that work to end or replace animal testing, particularly in the area of toxicology research, and is accompanied by a £10,000 grant. Alves is developing an artificial intelligence-based web platform to assess the toxicity of mixtures present in major classes of industrial chemicals. He is one of four Young Researcher award winners from the United States and 13 worldwide winners and … Continued


Capuzzi Awarded Career Grant from Chemical Structure Association Trust

December 7, 2018

Stephen Capuzzi, Ph.D., of the UNC Catalyst for Rare Diseases, has been awarded a 2018 early career grant from the Chemical Structure Association (CSA) Trust. Capuzzi has used the award to present his research titled “Computer-Aided Discovery and Characterization of Novel Ebola Virus Inhibitors” at the 31st International Conference for Antiviral Research in Porto, Portugal. The Chemical Structure Association (CSA) Trust is an internationally recognized organization established to promote the critical importance of chemical information to advances in chemical research. The CSA Grant Program was created to provide funding for the career development of young researchers who have demonstrated excellence in … Continued


UNC Catalyst Initiative Aims to Create and Share Tools to Fight Rare Diseases

January 4, 2017

Freely giving researchers the tools and knowledge to tackle rare and orphaned diseases is the mission of UNC Catalyst, a new endeavor of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill launched with a $2 million grant from the Eshelman Institute for Innovation. UNC Catalyst will provide patient groups and rare-disease organizations with the knowledge and research tools to train scientists to create new treatments. “Science has cracked the human genome, but translating that knowledge into new medicines has been painfully slow,” said Bob Blouin, director of the Eshelman institute and dean of the Eshelman School of Pharmacy. “This is … Continued