Skip to main content



Institute for Drug Safety SciencesThe Institute for Drug Safety Sciences was established in 2008 as a unique partnership between the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and The Hamner Institutes for Health Sciences, a private, nonprofit research organization with over 30 years of experience in small molecule safety. Under the leadership of Paul Watkins, M.D., an internationally recognized expert in drug safety, the IDSS has been building a portfolio of accomplishments to position itself as one of the world’s leading research enterprises in drug safety.

The institute has focused on developing innovative approaches to investigate the underlying mechanisms of rare or “idiosyncratic” toxicities that are often not discovered until late in clinical development. The IDSS has also amassed top-level talent in the fields of pharmacometrics, pharmacogenomics, mouse genetics and biomarkers and has developed high-impact collaborations with industry, academia and the Food and Drug Administration.

In 2016, IDSS joined the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. Now with the support of the number one pharmacy school in the U.S., the institute is well-positioned to achieve its vision of making new drugs available faster, more affordable, and safer.

Our Vision

To make new drugs more affordable, available faster and safer by:

  • Solving safety problems encountered at any point in the life cycle of a new drug candidate
  • Improving the efficiency and accuracy of safety assessment during the drug development process
  • Guiding the rational design of safe drugs, thereby eliminating risks to patients

Our Mission

To understand, predict, and prevent adverse reactions to drugs by:

  • Identifying mechanisms and risk factors that result in clinically observed adverse reactions
  • Improving drug safety screening methods to identify liabilities before they occur
  • Disseminating knowledge to guide the design of safer drugs

Our Values

Communication: We value knowledge, information and transparency.

Ownership: We are invested in our work and care about the details.

Professionalism: We hold ourselves to a higher standard.

Attitude: We enjoy working in a positive environment.

Initiative: We are passionate and self-motivated.

Resourcefulness: We are solutions oriented and value collaboration.

Innovation: We think outside the box.