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Drug Discoveries, Student Research Showcased at ICB&DD Symposium

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Icb dd all speakers
Symposium speakers, from left: Ian Outhwaite (student, SBU), Anton Bennett (Yale University Medical School), Arvin Dar (Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center), Natalie Ahn (University of Colorado, Boulder), Michael Eck (Harvard Medical School), Kalani Jayanetti (student, SBU), Karen Allen (Boston University), John Chodera (Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center), Matt Robers (Promega), Markus Seeliger (chair of the organizing committee), Iwao Ojima (Director ICB&DD), Jacob Houghton (organizing committee) and Dongyan Tan (organizing committee).

The Institute of Chemical Biology & Drug Discovery (ICB&DD) brings together researchers and scientists throughout Stony Brook University to study and investigate chemical biology and advance the field of drug discovery.

ICB&DD hosted its 17th annual symposium, “Frontiers in Chemical Biology and Drug Discovery,” on October 5 in the Student Activities Center. Renowned scholars in the field and researchers on campus shared their accomplishments and exchanged innovative ideas among faculty, staff and students, as well as researchers from Brookhaven National Laboratory, Cold Spring Harbor Lab, and elsewhere in academia and industry.

Introduced in 2007, the symposium focuses on cutting-edge advances in chemical biology, structural and computational biology, cancer and infectious diseases, and drug discovery.

Executive Vice President and Provost Carl Lejuez highlighted in his opening remarks the importance of this symposium as a venue to discuss cutting-edge scientific discoveries and a platform for students to share their research with the scientific community.

The organizing committee, composed of faculty members Markus Seeliger, Dongyan Tan and Jacob Houghton, recruited seven presenters from academia and private industry who shared their research and discoveries. Two students, Ian Outhwaite from the Department of Pharmacological Sciences and Kalani Jayanetti from the Department of Chemistry, were selected to present their research to the group.

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More than 60 students and postdocs presented posters at the Symposium. Three were awarded awards and two were selected for short talks.

Sixty graduate students and researchers showcased their work during poster sessions throughout the day, describing their research to visiting scholars and fellow students. At the conclusion of the symposium, poster awards were presented to Sweta Anantharaman (chemistry), Nipuni Gunawardhana (chemistry) and Ian Outhwaite (pharmacological sciences).

ICB&DD was founded to create a multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary hub as a bridge between faculty and physicians on West, East, and South campuses to create a world-class “Center of Excellence” in chemical biology and drug discovery at Stony Brook and to significantly contribute to the establishment of a comprehensive biomedical research enterprise from molecular science to clinic.

While research occurs throughout the Stony Brook campuses, ICB&DD enables greater transparency and sharing of discoveries, in addition to collaborations between departments on campus. Current members of ICB&DD represent the following departments: Applied Mathematics and Statistics, Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Biomedical Engineering, Chemistry, Medicine, Microbiology and Immunology, Oral Biology and Pathology, Pathology, Pharmacological Sciences, Psychiatry & Behavioral Health and Physiology and Biophysics.

ICB&DD-designated grants total more than $70 million since its inception in the fall of 2004, while 15 current projects and $20 million in grants are ongoing. Inventions created by ICB&DD members include three compounds that have advanced to the phase II and phase III human clinical trials, two compounds that are in phase I clinical trials, two compounds about to file an Investigative New Drug (IND) application, and several compounds in preclinical development.

Iwao Ojima, Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, is the founding director of ICB&DD and has served in the post for 19 years. He holds the distinction of having received four National Awards from the American Chemical Society in four different fields of research and is an inductee in the American Chemical Society Medicinal Chemistry Hall of Fame. He also serves as president of the Stony Brook Chapter of the National Academy of Inventors. His current research focuses on drug discovery and development of next-generation anticancer agents and their tumor-targeted drug delivery, as well as therapeutics for pain control and antifungal agents.


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