Skip to main content

CICBDD July 2022

A leading academic center focused on translating UNC biomedical science into the discovery of small molecule medicines and chemical research tools.

The Center has focused on cancer relevant drug discovery and chemical biology research and seeks to expand into new collaborative areas identified as important for the campus, including neuroscience and infectious diseases.


“The Center will be an innovative and sustainable scientific force in the creation of chemical probes, drug candidates, assay technologies, and computational approaches to advance understanding of biological mechanisms and place UNC at the forefront of translational medicine.”



Graduate student in the lab at Center for Integrative Chemical Biology and Drug Discovery

The Center’s mission is to bring dedicated medicinal chemistry expertise to bear on biological targets of therapeutic relevance under investigation by UNC faculty. Synthetic chemists, assay development and compound profiling scientists work in the Center and create dedicated, multidisciplinary project teams with other groups on campus to progress targets through the drug discovery and early development process. The first targeted therapeutic from the Center designed to reactivate the innate immune response in cancer and block survival signaling pathways in many solid and hematologic malignancies is advancing through clinical trials. In addition to collaborative drug discovery projects, the Center has a basic science focus in the area of chromatin regulation. The Center’s chromatin science is centered on methyl-lysine as a posttranslational modification and the protein-protein interactions that it facilitates. The first chemical probes for methyl-lysine reader proteins were discovered in the CICBDD and are being used to validate novel interventions in cancer and other diseases.

The Goals of The Center are to:

Make a difference for the future.
  • Enable interrogation of biology with small molecules resulting in novel insights into human disease with a focus on oncology

  • Create the leading research program in chemical biology of chromatin regulation

  • Provide student and faculty training and enrichment in the areas of expertise within the Center

  • Create intellectual property to support translational drug discovery

  • Establish collaborations and funding base such that the Center is sustainable





Graphic depicting what we do and how we get there