CIDD in San Antonio – an Integrated Model for Early Stage Drug Discovery in Academia

Poster
CIDD in San Antonio – an Integrated Model for Early Stage Drug Discovery in Academia
Abstract

The Center for Innovative Drug Discovery (CIDD), a joint-venture between the University of Texas Health at San Antonio (UTHealthSA) and the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), provides core-based services that support biomedical research related to drug discovery. The primary goal of CIDD is to provide a diverse array of technologies and expertise to enable the translation of basic scientific discoveries into tangible pre-clinical candidate drugs that can be further developed into therapies for human disease. CIDD is comprised of two integrated core units: the High Throughput Screening (HTS) Facility (UTHealthSA) and the Medicinal Chemistry (MedChem) Facility (UTSA).  Services provided by the CIDD  include (1) consultation and hands-on assistance in the design, development and implementation of assays suitable for HTS, including assay validation, optimization and miniaturization; (2) expression and purification of proteins for small molecule discovery and structural biology studies, which include in silico docking programs to optimize drug candidates; (3) screening of compound libraries using cell-based high-content imaging, cell-based conventional, or purified component-based screens; (4) optimization of lead compound drug candidates through SAR analyses; and (5) custom synthesis and consultation. CIDD also provides consultation andsupport onprogram strategydesignfrom core directors who have over 40+ years of combinedexperience in moving small molecule compounds through all stages of the pre-clinical drug discovery processboth in pharmaceutical industry and academic environments. These services also integrate closely with Structural Biology and Biophysical Core Facilities at UTHealthSA to further enhance and optimize potential therapeutics. 

Since its establishment in 2012, the CIDD core facilities have successfully completed >85 projects with collaborators from multiple state and national universities/institutions and private pharmaceutical companies.  We work on collaborative programs in cancer, neuroscience, infectious disease and diabetes among other areas. In addition to empowering the translational components of academic research programs in South Texas and interfacing with the growing biotechnology/pharmaceutical industry in South Texas, CIDD is also leading the effort to establish new Certificate and MS training programs to build a local workforce in all areas of drug discovery.