Skip to main content


Ken Pearce, PhD
Ken Pearce PhD


Ken Pearce, PhD became director of the CICBDD in April 2022.  Ken brings a wealth of experience in biochemistry, biophysics and assay development to this position.

Ken’s primary interest and expertise is application of various methods for conducting early drug and chemical probe discovery research. These techniques include development of biochemical and cell assays, high-throughput screening, DNA-encoded library technology, peptide phage display, and mechanistic/biophysical studies. Projects are typically collaborative efforts with labs across the UNC campus and span numerous therapeutic areas, with a particular focus on oncology. He is motivated by collaborative team-based and therapeutically-aligned science, training the next generation of discovery scientists, and contributing to service opportunities at UNC.

Upon completing his PhD in Chemistry (Biology Division) from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Pearce spent over 18 years with GlaxoSmithKline and legacy companies in the Molecular Discovery Research organization until joining CICBDD in mid-2015 as the Director of Lead Discovery and Characterization.


Our Mission


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.


Lab glasswareThe 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 Promise of Academic Drug Discovery

Featuring former Center Director, Stephen Frye, PhD.