We Are Building the Future of Research and Innovation

The University of Illinois Cancer Center convenes the UIC College of Pharmacy and other cutting-edge researchers to tackle unmet patient needs. The UIC College of Pharmacy has a proven record of discovery – it is consistently ranked in the top ten amongst US colleges of Pharmacy in research funding. More than 50 tenure-track faculty and over 250 affiliated research and clinical faculty conduct research in areas of drug and target discovery through synthetic chemistry and from natural sources and therapeutic outcomes in cancer, infectious diseases, and women’s health. In the last five years, researchers in the College of Pharmacy have submitted 167 US patent applications, had 32 US patents issued, had 108 disclosures, and entered into 44 licenses and options. During that same time, the College has generated over $15 million in royalties.

Our Research Experience And Focus

Cancer
University of Illinois Cancer Center researchers are unlocking the mysteries of cancer by integrating genetics, cellular science and public health information to identify factors that influence the frequency and severity of disease. Cancer research is a major focus of College of Pharmacy investigators. From examining the basic science of how and why tumors form, to discovering new drugs for treatment, uncovering mechanisms of drug action, and designing novel drug delivery platforms, College of Pharmacy researchers are at the forefront of innovation. Always looking to translate basic research into real-world solutions for cancer patients, UIC discoveries are making waves in clinical trials. For example, G1T48, an oral selective estrogen receptor degrader (SERD) that targets ER breast cancer, was licensed, from UIC, by G1 Therapeutics and entered Phase 1/2a clinical trials last year. Another example, TTC-352, an ER breast cancer drug designed to target cancer that has stopped responding to hormone therapy, entered human clinical trials after licensing to TTC Oncology. A highly potentate enzyme inhibitor, 9-ING-41, that was initially developed as a therapeutic for bipolar disorder, is now being investigated as a treatment for glioblastoma, a deadly, often chemo-resistant brain cancer. Licensed to Actuate, LLC, the company recently announced the opening of a phase I/phase II clinical trial for the drug.

Infectious Disease
Existing and emerging infectious diseases pose real-world challenges to scientists. The diminishing number of new antibiotics and the development of antibiotic-resistant microbes present UIC researchers with new opportunities for creative infectious disease research initiatives and collaborations. The UIC College of Pharmacy emerged as a prominent player in infectious disease research and education in 1996, with the development of the Infectious Disease Pharmacotherapy Section, one of the largest and longest-standing Pharmacy fellowships programs of its type in the country. An initial partnership with Abbott labs led to the development of numerous drugs, and the Section continues to be involved in all phases of Clinical Trials. Institute of Tuberculosis Research (ITR) is a College of Pharmacy-based drug discovery research facility that melds an industrial-style model of drug discovery in an academic environment in order to identify, characterize, and optimize new tuberculosis (TB) drug leads, develop novel tools to enable TB drug discovery, identify molecular targets of and/or mechanisms of resistance to anti-TB medications. Recent work on the basic science realm has involved identifying signaling pathways used by the bacteria responsible for strep throat, scarlet fever, and pneumonia, a discovery that might provide a novel therapeutic target by preventing bacteria from becoming harmful. Industry collaborations, such as one between the College and Nosopharm, a Lyon-based biotechnology company, has led to the discovery of a new class of antibiotics that may be effective against drug-resistant bacteria.

Women’s Health
The College of Pharmacy has been a leader in women’s health research, including ovarian and breast cancer, since the inception of the UIC/NIH
Center for Botanical Dietary Supplements (UIC Botanical Center) in 1999. Working in collaboration with the University of Illinois Cancer Center, researchers are tackling women’s cancers with significant unmet needs. Over the 20 years of continuous federal support for the Botanical Center, UIC researchers have designed and undertook rigorous clinical research into botanical dietary supplements with high probability for therapeutic relevance. Building on the insights, experience, and data acquired over the decades of investigation, they have launched optimally-informed botanical products into the clinical evaluation to advance safe and effective botanicals for women considering botanical supplements to promote health, wellness, and resilience. College of Pharmacy investigators research plants and their derivatives, such as Hops that have been reported to alleviate symptoms of menopause and premenstrual syndrome, and investigate botanicals to determine their effect on estrogen metabolism, their antioxidant properties, and their impact on estrogen carcinogenesis related to breast cancer. Using state-of-the-art imaging mass spectrometry instrumentation, investigators have made insights into the development and progression of ovarian cancer, the fifth leading cause of cancer death in women.

Research Training
Ph.D. and post-doctoral trainees in basic research and cancer research will have an outstanding new training opportunity available to them in the Drug Discovery and Cancer Research Pavilion. These future leaders will receive mentorship, clinical exposure, and research training from basic and clinical research faculty members as well as area investigational collaborators and partners. A university-industry partnership that will create a pipeline of talented, capable investigators with real-world clinical and research experience.

To learn more about the Drug Discovery and Cancer Research Pavilion, please contact  Ben Stickan,  UIC College of Pharmacy, (312) 639-9069, or Jane Erb, University of Illinois Cancer Center, (312) 355-1386. 

Drug Discovery and Cancer Research Pavilion Partners
Drug Discovery and Cancer Research Pavilion Partners