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UCSF QBI Coronavirus Research Group awarded $67.5 million to develop therapies for future pandemics

To prepare an arsenal of drug candidates to fight future pandemics, scientists at the UCSF Quantitative Biosciences Institute (QBI) Coronavirus Research Group (QCRG) were awarded an initial $67.5 million from the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH)—the largest single research grant in UCSF history.

The grant, provided by the NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), will fund an Antiviral Drug Discovery (AViDD) Center for Pathogens of Pandemic Concern at QCRG, one of nine such centers announced today at institutions around the country.

The QCRG AViDD will bring together research centers from both academia and industry to pursue the discovery and development of drug therapies for viruses with pandemic potential. It comes on the heels of QCRG’s ongoing success with studying SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 over the last two years.

Among the School of Pharmacy faculty participating in AViDD as investigators are Michelle Arkin, PhD; Charles S. Craik, PhD; William DeGrado, PhD; Danica Galonić Fujimori, PhD; Jason Gestwicki, PhD; Tanja Kortemme, PhD; Adam Renslo, PhD; Andrej Sali, PhD; and Brian Shoichet, PhD.

“The model we’ve formed at QCRG has the potential to revolutionize and streamline traditional methods of identifying promising therapies by drawing from expertise within organizations but most importantly across many organizations to get the best and brightest minds involved,” said Nevan Krogan, PhD, founder of QCRG and director of QBI. “On behalf of all of the researchers and scientists comprising QCRG, we applaud the NIH for their vision for pandemic preparedness and supporting measures to preemptively address future outbreaks.” 

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UCSF Awarded $67.5 Million to Develop New Antiviral Therapies (UCSF News)

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About the School: The UCSF School of Pharmacy aims to solve the most pressing health care problems and strives to ensure that each patient receives the safest, most effective treatments. Our discoveries seed the development of novel therapies, and our researchers consistently lead the nation in NIH funding. The School’s doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) degree program, with its unique emphasis on scientific thinking, prepares students to be critical thinkers and leaders in their field.