MOLECULAR THERAPEUTICS PROGRAM The Molecular Therapeutics (MT) program is dedicated to evaluating cancer targets, developing novel therapies, and devising more effective delivery systems via highly integrated basic science and translational activities. The Program is led by Stephen Frye, Director of the Center for Integrative Chemical Biology and Drug Discovery (CICBDD) and Fred Eshelman Distinguished Professor, and Gary Johnson, Kenan Distinguished Professor in the Department of Pharmacology. The MT Program consists of 42 members who are associated with four schools and 16 departments. During the last funding period, program members have published 675 cancer-related articles. MT is highly collaborative. 16% of these papers are intra-programmatic and 33% are inter-programmatic (43% collaborative). In 2019, our program members held grants totaling $20.9M (direct cost) in cancer-relevant extramural funding, including $6.4M (direct costs) from the NCI and $13.0M other peer funding. The MT program is comprised of investigators with expertise in five broad areas: Chemical and Structural Biology; Drug Discovery and Development; Drug Delivery and Nanotechnology; Systems Pharmacology; and Oncogenic Signaling. Many investigators in the program have active collaborations with other LCCC programs, using and providing direction for LCCC's shared resources. These interactions enable many of the scientific steps needed for the discovery and development of promising therapies. In 2015, MT was rated ?outstanding? stating ?the minor weakness of this program is that, relatively few of the promising therapeutics have moved into investigator initiated clinical trials at the LCCC.? Since this review, multiple clinical studies have been initiated at UNC and other institutions based on discoveries in MT, as outlined in our response to the prior critique. Future plans build on unique translational resources available due to the creation of the Eshelman Institute for Innovation and Pinnacle Hill, which bring more than $100 million to progress UNC-based discoveries into patients. Cellular and biologic therapies will be an area of future focus for MT members enabled by the expansion of the Clinical Immunotherapy Program's GMP facility. Through these efforts, MT will continue to accelerate discovery of new cancer therapeutics and, with the Clinical Research and Breast Cancer Programs, design and execute translational and therapeutic trials in our patients.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Center Core Grants (P30)
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Subcommittee I - Transistion to Independence (NCI)
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University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill
United States
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