Highlights of 2018

2018 has been a year of transformative discovery and impact in Northwestern University’s Chemistry of Life Processes Institute. Some of the highlights of the past year include:

The National Science Foundation awarded CLP faculty members Vadim Backman and Igal Szleifer a $2M Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation grant for a radical new approach to manipulating DNA through macrogenomic engineering and applying this approach to developing new treatments for chemo-resistant cancer.

“Without CLP, it would have been difficult to put this program together and then to implement it now that it’s funded.”  — Vadim Backman, Walter Dill Scott Professor of Biomedical Engineering

CLP faculty and staff contributed to the successful NIDDK P30 grant application that resulted in a $5.8 million five-year award to create the first O’Brien Kidney Center at Northwestern, led by CLP member Sue Quaggin.

Five CLP core facilities, which provide cancer researchers with the state-of-the-art instruments and technical expertise needed to transform their discoveries into new therapeutics and diagnostics to benefit cancer patients, were a key component of the $31.5M competitive five-year renewal of the National Cancer Institute’s Comprehensive Cancer Center award to the Lurie Cancer Center.

“The Institute’s efforts to foster collaboration amongst CLP faculty is reflected in an increase of 200% in joint publications since 2009. Shared publications by CLP authors now account for a third of all of their research publications.” — Thomas O’Halloran, Inaugural Director, CLP

The competitive $1.4M renewal of the Institute’s NIH training grant, “Chemistry of Life Processes Predoctoral Training Program,” is enabling Northwestern graduate students to learn the dual languages of chemistry and biology and giving rise to the next generation of scientific explorers who will discover new worlds of drugs and diagnostics.

A new entrepreneur-in-residence, William (Bill) Sargent, is sharing his more than 30 years of pharma experience with budding faculty entrepreneurs to guide them in the initial steps towards commercialization of new drugs.

Looking ahead, we are excited by opportunities to grow our research programs and develop new instruments and methods that will revolutionize our understanding of health and disease.