President's Excellence Fund Symposium Welcome to our Virtual Event X-Grants | T3

A Multidisciplinary Platform for the Identification of Cancer and COVID-19 Therapeutics

Wenshe Liu, Shiqing Xu, Kayla J Bayless, Kevin Burgess, Roderick H Dashwood, Peter J Davies, Carol Fierke, Pingwei Li, Thomas D Meek, Paul Defigueiredo, James C Sacchettini, Andrew Joshua Wand, Xin Yan

Cancer has been a leading cause of death worldwide for many decades leading to nearly 10 million deaths in 2018. The current COVID-19 pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 is a global health emergency. As of June 18, 2020, the total global COVID-19 cases had surpassed 8.2 million, among which more than 446,000 had succumbed to death. By forcing many countries and regions on lockdown, COVID-19 is driving the world economy into a recession. Thus, specific anti-COVID-19 and anti-cancer drugs with high efficiency and safety are urgently needed. Drug discovery and development is a highly complicated process from the initial stage of laboratory bench to clinical trials with the involvement of multidisciplinary collaborations. To help address urgent public health needs resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic as well as multiple types of cancer, this X-Grant pilot project aims to establish a multidisciplinary drug discovery team that integrates the expertise of high-throughput selection and screening, synthetic and medicinal chemistry, biochemistry and enzymology, cancer biology and structural biology to identify hits and advance hit-to-lead/lead optimization for preclinical anti-cancer and COVID-19 drug candidates. It will be a driving force for collaborative cutting-edge research projects to foster innovation and translate basic discoveries into applied and translational research for the discovery and development of anti-COVID-19 and anti-cancer therapeutics.