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Ken Pearce, PhDKen Pearce, PhD, Director CICBDD

Lab Members



The Lead Discovery and Characterization group (LD&C) assists UNC faculty and external collaborators with the development and validation of biochemical and cell-based assays for primary and secondary screening.  Multiple platforms and readouts are possible (see equipment linked). Screens of up to 200K compounds are possible using our multiple libraries, both internal and collaborative.  A realistic timeline from initiation of assay development to completion of screening is approximately one  year.  This time will vary based on the state of target validation at the start of a project.  We prioritize focused screens and knowledge-based approaches to maximize utilization of resources and changes of success.

LD&C handles all compound management for the Center and is equipped to develop screening assays using best industry standard practices and technologies. The equipment within LD&C is organized around an “islands of automation” concept where each device is capable of walk away operation sufficient to process 30-50 plates. This strategy has been proven to be maximally effective in environments where flexibility is required and assays formats may vary significantly over time. All equipment is maintained at or above the manufacturers recommended maintenance intervals for testing and calibration.

The Lead Discovery and Characterization Group has five research scientists with decades of previous experience in the pharmaceutical/biotechnology industry and academia.  They have backgrounds in compound management logistics/liquid handling automation, biochemistry, biophysics, pathway biology, molecular biology, protein expression/purification, and synthetic chemistry.  Their team-based approach to projects, collective knowledge, and research talents bring a wealth of experience to the entire Center and collaborations across campus.


Recent News

  • October 2023 – Journal of Medicinal Chemistry – Devan Shell is published

“Discovery of a 53BP1 Small Molecule Antagonist Using a Focused DNA-Encoded Library Screen”