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On December 3, 2014 Dr. Fred Eshelman committed $100 million to the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy with the simple directions: “Close your eyes, and think big.”

With Dr. Eshelman’s gift, the Eshelman Institute for Innovation was born as a vehicle to accelerate idea generation and innovation.

The Eshelman Institute for Innovation encourages and develops new opportunities and bold, high-risk, high-reward ideas in therapeutics and digital health with a focus on oncology, infectious disease, and neuroscience (including rare diseases). Through strategic collaborations inside and outside of the University of North Carolina, the Institute will help create jobs and spur economic development in the state of North Carolina and beyond. By using a sustainable business model, the Institute aims to remain a perpetual engine of innovation.

The Eshelman Institute for Innovation advances the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy as a nationally recognized hub of discovery for disease treatments, drug-delivery systems, and health care practice.


“…if we are going to in fact increase the pace to attain our goals, the private sector must make the investment like never before. It is one of the best investments we could possibly make for our children, our neighbors, our friends and our fellow citizens. As part of that investment, and as per the Institute, we must help in the translation of ideas and research into products, into services and into tools that will be good and useful for our citizens.”

– Fred Eshelman