Division of Chemical Biology and Medicinal Chemistry
Director of Medicinal Chemistry
Our medicinal chemistry efforts are project-based with a faculty generated lead compound. We can support 3-5 hit to probe/lead projects concurrently. The typical timeline from completion of a screen to completion of leads is 1-2 years. Projects are prioritized primarily based on quality of hits and project funding. To date our most successful project has been the development of inhibitors of Mer kinase for the treatment of leukemia and immunosuppressive tumors, which has delivered a candidate MRX-2843 in clinical trials. A significant portion of this work was funded through a research contract as a member of NCI’s Chemical Biology Consortium (CBC). In addition, we were funded through the CBC to conduct structure activity relationship (SAR) studies to support lead development of inhibitors of IDH1 to treat glioblastoma. We have contributed to numerous drug discovery efforts with UNC faculty and external investigators. Most recently, we have been funded by NIH to develop probes for new targets to treat Alzheimer disease and MerTK/Axl dual inhibitors for treatment of cancer by targeting tumor cells and activating anti-tumor immunity.