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Center for Drug Discovery

We invite you to learn about your impact on Baylor College of Medicine’s research programs, such as those led by the Center for Drug Discovery.

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“You are an essential part of our success in the Center for Drug Discovery. Thanks to you, we are positioned to leverage more technologies and build many more partnerships that will help us identify drugs that are best suited to each patient to achieve the best health outcomes.”

Martin Matzuk, M.D., Ph.D. 
Professor and Chair, Department of Pathology & Immunology 
Stuart A. Wallace Chair in Pathology 
Robert L. Moody, Sr., Chair in Pathology 
Director, Center for Drug Discovery 
Baylor College of Medicine 

Generous donors like you help facilitate exciting discoveries that yield new therapies or provide insight into disease prevention and diagnosis at Baylor College of Medicine. Thank you for your generous support of our research programs. One of the ways your contribution benefits research is by accelerating the efforts of Baylor scientists in innovative institutions like the Center for Drug Discovery (CDD).  

The CDD uses state-of-the-art equipment and methodologies that yield better candidate compounds for drugs and experimental therapeutics. This allows the CDD to achieve its vision of bridging the gap between academic research and pharmaceutical discovery, as well as providing researchers with an economically viable entry into early-stage drug discovery. This work is important because it speeds the process between identifying promising drugs and translating that into tangible therapies that can be used in the clinic. Your investment in research helps realize these improvements to patient care. 

Impact by the Numbers

*The above statistics pertain to calendar year 2022.

Top Research Discoveries at the CDD in the Last Year  

Using DEC-Tec libraries is a powerful approach to identifying lifesaving medicines. Recently, the CDD used DEC-Tec to find the first potent and selective inhibitors of the enzyme for bone morphogenetic protein receptor type II (BMPR2). The overactivation of proteins like BMPR2 is implicated in skeletal defects and cancer, so finding inhibitors that slow down these activation processes could potentially prevent or treat these conditions. Similarly, SARS-CoV-2 main protease (Mpro) inhibitors are responsible for viral replication and inhibiting this protein through DEC-Tec could slow down or stop coronavirus infections, making it a promising treatment option. DEC-Tec is a highly expeditious strategy for generating small molecules that target infectious agents. This work also has significant potential to be applied to other infectious diseases. Your gift to Baylor makes this critical research possible.

Photo: CDD scientists using equipment to aid in drug discovery.

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Meet Drs. Zhi Tan and Mingxing Teng 

Promising research undertakings are needed to develop new therapies to improve patient health outcomes. This requires the world’s top talent, and the CDD recently recruited two outstanding Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) Scholars: Zhi Tan, M.D., Ph.D., and Mingxing Teng, Ph.D., both of whom are now assistant professors in the Department of Pathology & Immunology. 

Dr. Tan joined Baylor from The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center to develop novel therapeutics for complex diseases, such as cancers. These therapeutics are created using deep learning – a machine learning technique that teaches computers to do what comes naturally to humans, computational chemistry, bioinformatics and chemical biology. The Tan Lab is leveraging DEC-Tec to tailor drugs to target cancer, creating novel computational algorithms to accelerate the process of identifying new drugs for therapies and developing drugs that regulate RNA-protein interactions to prevent and effectively treat a variety of diseases. 

Following his previous role at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Dr. Teng came to Baylor to establish the Teng Lab. This highly interdisciplinary group uses medicinal chemistry, chemical biology and molecular cell biology for early-stage drug discovery, with a primary focus on deciphering targets associated with cancer. The Lab is tackling fundamental problems in cancer chemical biology and translating discoveries into therapeutic approaches for cancer patients.

By supporting Baylor’s research program, you enable the CDD to recruit prestigious CPRIT Scholars and further advance discovery.

Discovering More Together

CDD scientists collaborating on novel research.

We couldn’t do this lifesaving work without you. Thank you for participating in our efforts to improve human health through exciting new research opportunities, including drug discovery and cancer research. We invite you to learn more about the Center for Drug Discovery.