U-M Center for the Discovery of New Medicines in Ann Arbor Awards Funding for Seven Drug Discovery Projects


The University of Michigan Center for the Discovery of New Medicines in Ann Arbor today announced it awarded funding for seven new drug discovery projects. U-M faculty will lead the research.

Six of the projects focus on treating diseases including heart failure, runaway cell division in cancer, hypertension, Crohn’s disease, a genetic heart condition called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, and neurological damage. The seventh project will study how to improve agents used in positron emission tomography, or PET scanning, that may produce clearer images and use less radiation. PET is used to evaluate tumors and tissues.

“The diversity of these latest projects speaks to the breadth and depth of the university’s translational research programs and the great entrepreneurial spirit at U-M to move biomedical knowledge toward improving the life of patients,” says Vincent Groppi, director of the center.

Since launching in 2012, the center has invested almost $1.8 million in 52 projects. The projects have secured more than $17 million in other support, including federal grants.

The grants are up to $50,000 each and went to Sami Barmada, assistant professor of neurology; Allen Brooks, research investigator; Sharlene Day, associate professor of cardiology; Peter Higgins, associate professor of gastroenterology; Ryoma “Puck” Ohi, associate professor of cell and developmental biology; Marschall Runge, professor of cardiology; and Andrew White, research associate professor of medical chemistry.

The grants primarily support work in four university laboratories: The Center for Chemical Genomics, the Center for Structural Biology, the Pharmacokinetics Core, and the Vahlteich Medicinal Chemistry Core.

The center provides early-stage support for drug discovery projects and is part of a collaboration among several campus units. This is the ninth round of funding since the center’s launch.

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