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$11 Million from NIH for Research

UD’s COBRE Center to add five investigators with five-year grant extension

by | November 20, 2020

Composite image by Jeffrey C. Chase

University of Delaware Professor Joe Fox (top right) leads the Center of Biomedical Research Excellence that has won a second phase of funding from the NIH. Newly added to the research team are (top row, left to right): Jeff Mugridge and Ramona Neunuebel and (bottom row, left to right) Juan Perilla, Karl Schmitz and Catherine Fromen.

Biomedical research at the University of Delaware has fresh fuel for the next five years, as the National Institutes of Health has renewed a Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) grant for a second phase, worth more than $11 million.

This COBRE grant is focused on Discovery of Chemical Probes and Therapeutic Leads and is led by Joseph Fox, professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and the Department of Materials Science and Engineering.

The work of this team of scientists is focused on discovery of new molecules that can be used to study and treat diseases such as breast cancer, renal cancer, Crohn’s disease, tuberculosis and Legionnaires disease.

“Interdisciplinary collaboration is a hallmark of UD research, and this renewal grant from the National Institutes of Health recognizes the successful track record and the continued excellence of an exceptional team of biomedical researchers and its leader, Professor Joe Fox,” said University of Delaware President Dennis Assanis. “Their work will advance the development of new therapies for treating diseases that have afflicted so many. We congratulate this team and look forward to the exciting developments to come.”

The research team will be based at UD’s Science, Technology and Advanced Research (STAR) Campus.

“By locating aspects of this program in the Ammon Pinizzotto Biopharmaceutical Innovation Center at STAR Campus, UD will coalesce a vibrant community of researchers working in drug discovery, development and manufacturing further cementing UD’s leadership in pharmaceutical innovation,” said Charles G. Riordan, vice president for research, scholarship and innovation.

Five new researchers have been added to the grant in this phase, including Catherine Fromen (chemical and biomolecular engineering); Jeff Mugridge and Juan Perilla (chemistry and biochemistry); and Ramona Neunuebel and Karl Schmitz (biological sciences).

The grant extension also will further expand the center’s capabilities with development of a Proteomics Core to allow custom synthetic chemistry, Fox said.

The first phase of the grant produced many advances, including 11 major NIH grants, and led to new techniques now used for drug-discovery work by major pharmaceutical companies and research groups around the world.