Xiaodong’s most impactful project focuses on discovery of potent and selective TAM tyrosine kinase inhibitors. This project has resulted in a clinical candidate that is progressing through Phase 1 studies at UNC and Emory University. Dr. Wang led the medicinal chemistry efforts that created this molecule and has continued to do impactful research toward TAM inhibitors with varying kinome profiles and potential clinical applications. She has authored and co-authored more than 25 manuscripts in this field and is an inventor on more than 15 patent applications based on intellectual property created in her lab related to MerTK. The clinical candidate from this program, UNC2371 (MRX2843) has demonstrated an outstanding pharmacokinetic profile in humans reflecting the rigorous preclinical optimization of the molecule’s properties under Xiaodong’s direction. She has also recently received a highly competitive NCI R01: “MERTK/AXL dual inhibitors provide novel treatment for cancer by targeting tumor cells and activating anti-tumor immunity”, as the corresponding PI on an MPI grant with Dmitri Kireev, Director of Computational Biophysics and Drug Design in the CICBDD.
Please join me in congratulating Xiaodong on this well-deserved promotion.
STEPHEN FRYE, PhD
Fred Eshelman Distinguished Professor
Director, Center for Integrative Chemical Biology and Drug Discovery