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Research Overview

The UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy is a key member of the robust research arm of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Our faculty are leaders and innovators in their areas of research, and the School's proximity to the Research Triangle Park and other research campuses spurs collaboration and partnerships in academia and with industry. Research at the School has spawned a number of spin-off companies, and in 2009, the School led the University with twenty-six invention disclosures and four patents received.

If you are looking for opportunities for research collaboration, please visit the Economic Development and International Partnerships section.

A Unique Perspective

The School of Pharmacy provides a unique perspective among peer institutions in our approach to research. The School conducts a wide range of advanced research that aligns with the four phases of the drug development and discovery cycle.

Each stage of this cycle is represented by a division within the School. Faculty and graduate students alike are encouraged to work with their peers within the School and the University to further realize research goals in discovery, preclinical and clinical development of therapeutic agents, optimum delivery of drug therapy, evaluation of health and therapeutic outcomes of novel drug therapies and technologies, as well as regulatory policies.

The Drug Discovery and Development Cycle and the Corresponding Divisions

Stage 1: Discovery

The Division of Chemical Biology and Medicinal Chemistry focuses on finding new therapeutic agents and targets. Thousands of compounds researched by the School have the potential for therapeutic applications impacting many disease targets, such as enzymes, specific drug receptors and even genetics.

Stage 2: Optimization

The Division of Molecular Pharmaceutics seeks to narrow the thousands of new and possibly therapeutic agents discovered in the first stage down to only the most successful compounds and therapies. This process relies upon preclinical trials in cell-based systems to determine if the drugs actually reach their targets and how best to assure that they find those targets and remain at the source.

Stage 3: Assessment

The Division of Pharmacotherapy and Experimental Therapeutics, in conjunction with UNC and Duke hospitals, takes the therapeutic agents to their intended subjects: humans. Division researchers focus on three phases of clinical assessment and evaluation of drug targets: safety, efficacy and the impact on specialized populations. Faculty in this division help determine dosing, toxicity and drug interactions for a number of emerging therapeutic drugs.

Stage 4: Outcomes

The Division of Pharmaceutical Outcomes and Policy studies the effectiveness of delivery, patient compliance and impact among specialized populations by focusing on the economic and health outcomes of therapies and pharmaceutical policies.

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