CBC Newsletter, Vol. 26

July 9, 2018

CBC News and New Funding, Educational and Networking Opportunities

Dear Members of the CBC Community,

CBC would like to share the Summer 2018 Newsletter which includes new funding, educational and networking opportunities available to the CBC community this summer and fall. Enjoy!

Thank you,
CBC team


CBC News

Dr. Luisa DiPietro, UIC

CBC welcomes Dr. Luisa DiPietro as Scientific Director for UIC

Dr. DiPietro joins the CBC leadership as successor to Dr. Brian Kay who served in the role since 2011

CBC is pleased to share the appointment of Dr. Luisa A. DiPietro as the new CBC Scientific Director for UIC. Dr. DiPietro’s nomination for this important position was officially announced by Susan Poser, UIC Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs on June 5, 2018. CBC warmly welcomes Luisa to the team and thanks Dr. Brian Kay for his many contributions as past UIC Scientific Director. Brian served in the role with distinction since 2011.

▸ Read more

Deerfield comes to Chicago

CBC Executive Director Jim Audia joins the Lakeside Discovery Joint Steering Committee

The CBC joins with other leaders in the community celebrating the launch of Lakeside Discovery, a partnership between Northwestern University and Deerfield Management formed to accelerate the translation of transformative biomedical technologies. This mission is strongly aligned with CBC’s Phase 2 and as a result, it is natural for CBC to lend its support to the new effort.

▸ Read more

Lakeside will tackle projects approved by a Joint Steering Committee comprised of members from the Northwestern and Deerfield scientific leadership teams. Northwestern members will initially include Dr. Eric G. Neilson, Vice President for Medical Affairs and the Lewis Landsberg Dean of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Richard Silverman, the Patrick G. Ryan/Aon Professor of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences in Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences; and Alicia Löffler, Executive Director of Northwestern’s Innovation and New Ventures Office (INVO). Also included on the committee is Jim Audia, Executive Director of the Chicago Biomedical Consortium, who will play a non-voting advisory role.

▸ Read more

A CBC homepage: structure meets function

New homepage layout to serve the CBC community better

Visit our newly refreshed homepage! Following input from the community, we redesigned it to serve you better. On the homepage, you will now find new and easy to navigate sections informing you about the CBC Funding Programs and CBC Educational Events at a glance. The News, Success Stories & Press section below includes not only CBC news and press releases – it also features CBC awardees and other community members, exciting new research results, publications and accolades, etc. Learn what others in the community are up to and join us in congratulating them in their scientific endeavors! Interested in what’s on Jim’s mind? Visit the Director’s Corner! And finally, the Community and Biotech Events section shares citywide biomedically-relevant events that varied community entities ask us to post there, FYI.

▸ Visit the CBC homepage


CBC Funding Opportunities
CBC Catalyst Award Program

One-time incentive awards (up to $250,000) focused on fundamental biological/ biomedical research with transformative potential, eligible to teams with co-Principal Investigators from at least two of the CBC institutions.

I. RFA: Round 26 (Fall 2018):
Round 26 Catalyst application submissions open August 20 and close August 24, 2018.

▸ RFA*
▸ Funded Catalyst Awards
*Please make sure that you are conforming to the MOST RECENT RFA!

II. Round 25 (Spring 2018) application results:
Congratulations to three Catalyst teams whose proposals were selected in Round 25 (Spring 2018) and deemed eligible for funding (pending administrative processing):

  • Alexandra Naba (UIC) and John Varga (NU) for the project:
    Quantitative Matrisomics: A Novel Approach to Decipher Fibrosis
  • Alan Hauser (NU) and Zackery Bulman (UIC) for the project:
    Carbapenem-Resistant K. Pneumoniae Genomic Biomarkers that Predict Poor Outcomes
  • Bruce Lahn (UChicago) and Maciej Leśniak (NU) for the project:
    A New Method for Studying Cancer Cells Predisposed to Metastasis

CBC Accelerator Award Program

Milestone-driven award program ($100,000 for 1st year) focused on translational research toward therapeutics or associated biomarkers and diagnostics.

I. RFA: Round 3 (Winter 2019):
Accelerator Letter of Intent (LOI) submissions open January 14 and close January 18, 2019.

Please note:
Applicants, if selected, MUST be available to present their projects at a CBCAN meeting on February 21 and/or March 7, 2019. Both meetings will be held on a Thursday, from 4:00-7:00 PM, at Northwestern University’s downtown Chicago campus.

▸ Program description
▸ RFA*

*Please make sure that you are conforming to the MOST RECENT RFA!

II. Round 2 (Summer 2018) application results to-date:
22 LOIs submitted; 10 selected to be presented at the upcoming August 2018 CBCANs (see the Networking Opportunities below):

  • Steven Ackerman and Vadim Gaponenko (UIC)
    Novel CCR3 Peptide Biased Antagonist for Therapy of Eosinophilic Asthma
  • Leslie Fung and Michael Johnson (UIC)
    Establish Animal Efficacy Proof of Concept for Highly Active Antimicrobial Leads
  • Brian Kay (UIC)
    A Platform Technology for Discovering Two-Site Affinity Reagents
  • Richard Kraig (UChicago)
    Verification of In Vivo Distribution of IGF-1 via Nose-to-Brain Administration
  • Tsutomu Kume (NU)
    Potential Treatment of Corneal Vascularization
  • Jonathan Leis and Chi-Hao Luan (NU)
    Development of Prazole Analogs to Block Budding of HIV and HSV-2 from Cells
  • Shiva Shahrara (UIC)
    Establishing a Novel Therapy for RA Patients
  • Julian Solway and Nickolai Dulin (UChicago)
    Aerosolized Remodelins as a Treatment for Pulmonary Fibrosis
  • Greg Thatcher (UIC)
    A Novel BET Inhibitor for Breast Cancer Combination Therapy
  • Terry Vanden Hoek (UIC)
    Novel PHLPP Peptide for Asystole/PEA Resuscitation

III. Round 1 (Winter 2018) application results:
32 LOIs submitted; 9 selected for CBCAN presentations; 8 invited to submit full proposals; 5 proposals deemed eligible for funding:

  • Chuan He (UChicago) for the project:
    A highly sensitive and robust test for early colorectal cancer diagnosis
  • Yulia Komarova (UIC) for the project:
    Development of novel treatment for age-related macular degeneration
  • Arnon Lavie (UIC) for the project:
    Increasing the in vivo stability of L-asparaginase through interactions with HSA
  • Brian Layden (UIC) for the project:
    Novel FFA3 antagonist development for type 2 diabetes
  • Rick Silverman (NU) for the project:
    Novel drug for hepatocellular carcinoma


CBC Educational Opportunities

CBC Symposium 2018 Poster

16th Annual CBC Symposium: “A new age of structural biology: structure meets dynamics”

Wednesday, October 3, 2018
Northwestern University Chicago campus

This all-day event is organized by Alfonso Mondragón (NU-Chairman), Tony Kossiakoff (UChicago), Arnon Lavie (UIC) and Valerie Tokars (NU). The meeting will also include a poster session. The event is free of charge, but pre-registration is required.

Stellar speaker lineup: Jingyi FEI, UChicago; André HOELZ, Caltech; Janet SMITH, University of Michigan; Reza VAFABAKHSH, NU; Eric XU, Van Andel Institute and Xiaojing YANG, UIC.

Online registration and abstract submission portals are already open. Deadlines: Friday, September 7, 2018.

▸ Register
▸ Submit abstract
▸ Symposium webpage

CBC Symposium 2018 Poster

CBC Spring Course: “Preclinical Safety Assessment and Mitigation Strategies in Drug Discovery”

DATE: April 2019, TBA (a one-and-a-half-day course)
LOCATION: Chicago downtown, TBA

The discovery of new therapeutic agents is met with significant challenges in preclinical discovery and development. Both efficacy and safety endpoints must be adequately assessed prior to testing a new investigational agent in humans. Perhaps the most challenging part of drug discovery is the mitigation of safety risks that arise during most drug discovery optimization efforts. Successful drug discovery teams will properly design and execute experiments that can best assess and discharge risks prior to first human dose (FHD), in the context of anticipated human drug exposures. This course begins with an assessment of the finish line for preclinical drug hunters–the successful filing of an Investigational New Drug (IND) application to regulatory agencies, such as the FDA or EMA. Importantly, the course will focus on the toxicology-chemistry partnership in discovery safety assessment. It will explore mitigation strategies and will include both the strategic concepts and study designs used in preclinical safety assessment. It will also describe some of the common pitfalls in toxicological data interpretation and how to best use the data to inform a lead optimization strategy and ultimate clinical study design. The course will cover many of the most common risks and modern mitigation strategies to help drug discovery teams navigate an optimization effort geared to delivering safe and well tolerated potential new therapies in the shortest time possible.

Bryan H. Norman, Ph.D.
Independent consultant/instructor (retired from Eli Lilly and Company)

▸ Course webpage


Networking Opportunities
CBC Accelerator Network (CBCAN)

The CBC Accelerator Network (CBCAN) program is a community bringing together industry experts, university tech transfer officers, researchers and others from the local and extended biomedical ecosystem with discoveries that may have commercial potential. The aim is to move promising discoveries into and forward in the pipeline towards commercialization, providing early commercial guidance that universities and university-based researchers need.

Three exciting CBCAN meetings are scheduled for the remainder of the year. The first two will be dedicated to the LOI presentations by selected applicants for the CBC Accelerator Award Program, Round 2:

Thursday, August 2, 2018

    TOPIC: CBC Accelerator Award Program, Round 2: LOI Presentations (PART I)
    TIME: 4:00 – 7:00 PM
    LOCATION: Northwestern Memorial Hospital
    Feinberg Pavilion, Conference Room A
    251 East Huron Street, Chicago, IL 60611

    LOI Presenters (in order of presenting): Tsutomu Kume (NU), Julian Solway and Nickolai Dulin (UChicago), Shiva Shahrara (UIC), Jonathan Leis and Chi-Hao Luan (NU), and Greg Thatcher (UIC).

    ▸ Register

Thursday, August 16, 2018

    TOPIC: CBC Accelerator Award Program, Round 2: LOI Presentations (PART II)
    TIME: 4:00 – 7:00 PM
    LOCATION: Northwestern Memorial Hospital
    Prentice Women’s Hospital, Room L South
    250 East Superior Street, Chicago, IL 60611

    LOI Presenters (in order of presenting): Steve Ackerman and Vadim Gaponenko (UIC), Richard Kraig (UChicago), Leslie Fung and Michael Johnson (UIC), Brian Kay (UIC), and Terry Vanden Hoek (UIC).

    ▸ Register

Thursday, November 15, 2018

    TOPIC: Fireside Chat with Jigar Raythatha, CEO, Constellation Pharmaceuticals
    TIME: 4:00 – 7:00 PM

▸ More about CBCAN

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