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Utilizing AI and machine learning for drug discovery 

September 14, 2023

Alexander Tropsha, Ph.D., is exploring unchartered territory through research into ways artificial intelligence and machine learning can help advance the drug discovery process.   Tropsha, a professor in the Division of Chemical Biology and Medicinal Chemistry at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy and director of the Laboratory for Molecular Modeling, is an expert in the fields of computational chemistry, cheminformatics and structural bioinformatics who works to develop new methodologies and software tools for computer-assisted drug design.   His particular expertise lies in the field of cheminformatics, a discipline where information and informatics methodologies are applied to storing, managing, exploring and exploiting … Read more

PhD candidates Holli-Joi Martin, Jessica Beers receive AFPE Pre-Doctoral Fellowship in Pharmaceutical Sciences

June 29, 2022

UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy Ph.D. candidates Holli-Joi Martin and Jessica Beers are recipients of the American Foundation for Pharmaceutical Education’s (AFPE) 2022 Pre-Doctoral Fellowship. The goal of the fellowship is to support high performing students who will ultimately improve patient and public health, according to the AFPE website. Meet Holli-Joi Martin “Receiving the highly competitive and prestigious AFPE Pre-Doctoral Fellowship is an absolute honor. Being a first-generation graduate student and woman in data science, I am so grateful to all my mentors whose guidance and support of my research interests have enabled me to grow into the person I … Read more

Eshelman School of Pharmacy, UNC Department of Chemistry partner to launch UNC Chemistry-Biology Interface Training Program

January 5, 2022

The UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy is joining forces with the UNC Department of Chemistry to establish an NIH-funded UNC Chemistry-Biology Interface Training Program that will support graduate students preparing for careers in modern biomedical science. The T32 CBI Training Program will provide financial support and training opportunities to help outstanding graduate students become independent, skilled, and creative scientists with broad expertise that spans chemistry and biology. In addition to coursework and regular journal clubs, the program will provide tailored mentoring to each trainee’s individual research interests and career goals. The chemistry-focused T32 program – a first of its kind … Read more

Tropsha, Muratov, partners identify potential drug candidates for COVID-19, land on National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences 2020 Papers of the Year list

February 12, 2021

The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) recently announced UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy faculty paper “Computational modeling identifies drug candidates for SARS-CoV-2” as one of the organization’s 2020 Papers of the Year. The publication, with Alex Tropsha, Ph.D. and Eugene Muratov, Ph.D., both in the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy’s Division of Chemical Biology and Medicinal Chemistry, as senior authors along with co-authors at the NIEHS and members of the Tropsha lab, was selected as one of 27 from nearly 3,500 publications by NIEHS researchers and grantees in 2020, according to the organization’s website. “It is a great honor and … Read more

Ph.D. student earns Ministry of Education of Taiwan fellowship to further studies, research

October 23, 2020

Ph.D. student Yien Liao recently earned the Ministry of Education of Taiwan’s Government Scholarship to Study Abroad (GSSA) to further her studies and research at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. The $32,000 fellowship will provide two years of support of Liao’s thesis which explores glycoscience, specifically in synthetic oligosaccharide (carbohydrate) applications in sepsis and liver/kidney ischemia-reperfusion. Liao studies in the School’s Division of Chemical Biology and Medicinal Chemistry in the lab of Jian Liu, Ph.D. “Searching for new carbohydrate-based molecules to control dysregulated inflammatory responses will be a crucial step for the treatment of many diseases,” Liu said. “The … Read more

Researchers reveal safeguarding of a key DNA sensor in the innate immune system

October 21, 2020

UNC-Chapel Hill researchers have, for the first time, determined the high-resolution structure of a key DNA-sensing protein in the innate immune system called cGAS while it is bound to the nucleosome – the all-important unit of DNA packaging inside a cell’s nucleus. This research, published in Science, reveals in detail how the nucleosomes inside our cells block cGAS from unintentionally triggering the body’s innate immune response to our own DNA. The work was led by Qi Zhang, PhD, associate professor of biochemistry and biophysics at the UNC School of Medicine, and Robert McGinty, MD, PhD, assistant professor of chemical biology … Read more

Pinnacle Hill Announces First Project Agreement

December 18, 2019

Alliance Between UNC-Chapel Hill and Deerfield intends to advance select Carolina innovations toward a possible new treatment against multiple myeloma Pinnacle Hill, the research and development partnership between the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Deerfield Management Company, an investment management firm, recently announced its first project agreement to advance the preclinical development of new medicines. Pinnacle Hill will support a project of Lindsey James, an assistant professor in the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy’s Division of Chemical Biology and Medicinal Chemistry. Her work focuses on multiple myeloma, a devastating cancer that develops in bone marrow. James and … Read more

Researcher seeks answers for epigenetic abnormalities leading to cancer diagnoses

October 30, 2019

Lindsey Ingerman James, Ph.D., with the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy is interested in epigenetic abnormalities that lead to cancer. For example, misregulation of the NSD2 gene has been implicated in numerous cancers including multiple myeloma and acute lymphoblastic leukemia. NSD2 was further found to be among the most frequently mutated genes across 1,000 pediatric cancer genomes, representing 21 different pediatric cancer subtypes. Over the course of the next five years, James plans to apply medicinal chemistry, chemical biology, and cancer biology approaches to discover first-in-class NSD2 bifunctional degraders in order to better understand NSD2 cancer biology, to assess NSD2 … Read more

Kaohsiung Medical University members visit UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy

September 25, 2019

For nearly 50 years, Kuo-Hsiung Lee, Ph.D., has connected the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy to his beloved alma mater of Kaohsiung Medical University (KMU) in Taiwan. Through the years, more than a dozen visiting scholars from the medical university have collaborated with Lee in his lab in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. “I love this school and Chapel Hill,” Lee said. “I hope to make both countries strong scientifically.” On Sept. 23, 2019, Lee continued to advance the collaboration by hosting members of Kaohsiung Medical University at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy for a campus tour and briefing with … Read more

Beaudoin, Vogt Earn NIH Predoctoral Research Grants

March 27, 2019

Two Ph.D. candidates at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy recently received National Research Service Awards from the National Institutes of Health. Jim Beaudoin, from the Division of Pharmacotherapy and Experimental Therapeutics, and Caleb Vogt, from the Division of Chemical Biology and Medicinal Chemistry, received the NRSA grants. Beaudoin is advised by Kim Brouwer, Pharm.D., Ph.D., and Vogt is advised by Jeff Aubé, Ph.D. The NIH grant, known also as an F31, is awarded to promising predoctoral students so that they can obtain individualized, mentored research training while conducting dissertation research. Beaudoin’s research project will investigate organic solute transporter α/β, … Read more