Academia & industry working together to create high impact translational success in drug discovery


BIO5 Translational Drug Discovery Center

BIO5's Drug Discovery Center is positioned to create high-impact translational success via the merging of academic and industrial expertise in concert with new approaches, chemistries, targets, and collaborations to expeditiously bring new therapeutics to patients in need.

The Center employs a high-throughput industry-like approach to drug discovery in an academic setting. Our scientists have extensive and diverse expertise in industrial settings, having run projects in a variety of therapeutic areas including oncology, neurodegeneration, and metabolic disorders. They have played key roles in both target and operations-related project teams at Sanofi-Aventis, Amgen, Eli Lilly, Telik, Semafore, and other smaller biotech companies.

The Center's capabilities span high-throughput purification and analytical support, file enhancement, hit validation and triaging, hit-lead transitions, and lead optimization work to prepare molecules for IND readiness. In addition, the Center houses BIO5's Molecular Modeling Shared Service facility, which further enhances the iterative design process involved in moving molecules along the value chain and also in shepherding biological targets along the path toward translational readiness. Other support services available through the Center include business development, tech transfer, and preclinical study expertise.

This Center was made possible by the National Institutes of Health (NIH 5RC2MH090878-02) via a $7.5 million grant to fund infrastructure and staff as part of the federal economic recovery act (RC2 GO grant).


High Impact Translational Success


The mission of BIO5's Drug Discovery Center is to expedite the discovery of new therapeutics and medicines to treat key unmet medical needs of the populace at large and to inspire the next generation of scientists to solve complex health problems. The Center enables excellence in teaching, outreach, and research in medicinal chemistry and drug discovery, and strives to enable the biological community at large to effectively translate discoveries into new therapeutics for the benefit of the patient in need and the growth of the local biomedical economy.


The Center offers students the opportunity to train in the multidisciplinary science of preclinical drug discovery in an industry-like atmosphere. Our students are exposed to all possible facets of drug discovery and training opportunities that include synthetic and medicinal chemistry, cheminformatics, drug metabolism studies, assay development, screening protocols, and ultimately, animal studies for in vivo pharmacology.

Why partner with us

The Center employs an industrialized high-throughput approach to medicinal chemistry and houses the largest collection of small molecules in the state. Collaborators will have access to state-of-the-art infrastructures with medicinal chemistry capabilities spanning library design, lead generation, high-throughput compound production, and automated mass-triggered purification platforms. In addition, the Center has significant medicinal chemistry expertise in lead generation, optimization, and transition to IND readiness.