Cleveland Clinic Selected for Participation in National Chemical Biology Consortium

The center will work alongside other top research institutions on therapeutics projects

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Cleveland Clinic has been selected to participate in the Chemical Biology Consortium (CBC), the discovery engine of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Experimental Therapeutics (NExT) Program, administered through the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research (FNLCR), a federal national laboratory sponsored by the NCI, part of the National Institutes of Health, and currently operated by Leidos Biomedical Research, Inc.

As part of the CBC, academic, nonprofit research organizations and companies across the country offer technology, staffing and expertise to move projects through the NExT Program’s therapeutics pipeline, designed to accelerate cancer therapeutic discoveries. The CBC provides support for early-stage drug discovery activities for small-molecule therapies, which target the disease on a molecular level.

Accelerating the development of targeted therapies provides more options and personalized treatment options for patients with cancer. Membership in the CBC positions Cleveland Clinic on the forefront of cancer drug discovery efforts and region to support promising projects and connect with other top-tier research institutions.

Membership in the CBC is a milestone for Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Therapeutic Discovery (C3TD), which already partners with researchers throughout the enterprise to support projects spanning oncology, neurology and eye, inflammation and cardiovascular diseases. C3TD will contribute expertise in medicinal chemistry, protein and structural science, chemical biology, and compound screening.

“It’s going to bring visibility to our center as a recognized top-tier medicinal chemistry, screening and structural biology program in general, but especially in cancer drug discovery,” says Shaun Stauffer, Ph.D., Director of C3TD. “Prior to 2018 the center didn’t exist. To build the group and receive this kind of national recognition is an honor for our team.”

Cleveland Clinic was selected through a competitive process, demonstrating a proven track record on supporting early stage probe and drug discovery efforts, as well as the capacity and capability to take on additional NCI projects. Cleveland Clinic is now one of 18 institutes in the CBC.

“Providing the resources needed to develop research into new, life-saving therapies is essential for moving cancer treatment forward,” says Alex A. Adjei, M.D., Ph.D., Chair of Cleveland Clinic’s Taussig Cancer Institute. “Participating in the CBC is yet another way Cleveland Clinic demonstrates our leadership in studying cutting-edge cancer care.”

Along with attracting funding through the CBC, Cleveland Clinic researchers and C3TD staff members will benefit from sharing best practices and working together to tackle complex problems in cancer treatment, Dr. Stauffer says.

“We are at a pivotal moment in cancer research, leading to more options than ever in cancer care,” says Serpil Erzurum, M.D., Cleveland Clinic’s Chief Research and Academic Officer. “Personalized medicine, which was once a hope and dream for many researchers and clinicians, is becoming a reality. Accelerating the pace of drug discovery is one of the ways we will continue to advance the field of cancer research at Cleveland Clinic.” 

This is not the first federal recognition the C3TD earned this year. Dr. Stauffer and Jae Jung, Ph.D., Director of the Global Center for Pathogen & Human Health Research, received $3.28 million from a nationwide National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) initiative for projects targeting viruses with high pandemic potential.

About Cleveland Clinic

Cleveland Clinic is a nonprofit multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. Located in Cleveland, Ohio, it was founded in 1921 by four renowned physicians with a vision of providing outstanding patient care based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. Cleveland Clinic has pioneered many medical breakthroughs, including coronary artery bypass surgery and the first face transplant in the United States. U.S. News & World Report consistently names Cleveland Clinic as one of the nation’s best hospitals in its annual “America’s Best Hospitals” survey. Among Cleveland Clinic’s 72,500 employees worldwide are more than 5,050 salaried physicians and researchers, and 17,800 registered nurses and advanced practice providers, representing 140 medical specialties and subspecialties. Cleveland Clinic is a 6,500-bed health system that includes a 173-acre main campus near downtown Cleveland, 22 hospitals, more than 220 outpatient facilities, including locations in northeast Ohio; southeast Florida; Las Vegas, Nevada; Toronto, Canada; Abu Dhabi, UAE; and London, England. In 2021, there were 10.2 million total outpatient visits, 304,000 hospital admissions and observations, and 259,000 surgical cases throughout Cleveland Clinic’s health system. Patients came for treatment from every state and 185 countries. Visit us at clevelandclinic.org. Follow us at twitter.com/ClevelandClinic. News and resources available at newsroom.clevelandclinic.org.

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