Accelerating Drug Discovery at U-M

Posted on: Fri, 2014-04-25 19:40   By: Laura J. Williams

The Center for Discovery of New Medicines (CDNM) is the translational research/drug discovery center at the University of Michigan. Founded in 2012, it brings together the expertise required to advance projects from idea to clinical proof-of-concept.

CDNM’s collection of early drug discovery expertise includes high throughput screening, chemical genomics, medicinal chemistry, high throughput gene cloning and expression, X-ray crystallography, in vitro assays for ADME and in vivo pharmacokinetics.

The center provides both financial support and project-specific mentorship and consulting for researchers with projects that have therapeutic potential.

Life science researchers at U-M continue advance the understanding of human diseases by doing innovative science to understand the molecular pathology of diseases.  CDNM partners with U-M researchers to help them test the “translational do-ability” of high reward projects derived from this research when data uncovers the potential for a new therapy based on a new understanding of disease.

The mechanism of action includes modulating GPCRs, protein kinases, ion channels, signal transduction pathways, protein misfolding, protein-protein interactions, transcriptional regulation, phenotypic assays, etc.  In all cases, team based-science adds value in developing an executable drug discovery project plan with defined go/no go milestones that has reach through to clinical development.

These translational plans start with the end in mind to address the unmet medical needs in a wide variety of therapeutic areas including oncology, neurodegeneration, psychiatric disorders, cardiovascular disease, metabolic disorders, inflammatory disorders, bacterial and viral infections. 

Executive Committee

James Dalton, Ph.D., Chair
Dean and Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences

Eric R. Fearon, M.D., Ph.D.
Emanuel N. Maisel Professor of Oncology, Professor, Departments of Internal Medicine, Human Genetics and Pathology, Associate Director for Basic Science and Deputy Director, U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center, Chief, Division of Molecular Medicine & Genetics, Department of Internal Medicine

Lori Isom, Ph.D.
Chair, Department of Pharmacology, Professor of Pharmacology and Professor of Molecular and Integrative Physiology, Medical School

Judith S. Leopold, Ph.D.
Associate Research Professor, Department of Radiology, Translational Oncology Program

Charles A. Parkos, M.D., Ph.D.
Carl V. Weller Professor and Chair, Department of Pathology 

James Shayman, M.D.
Agnes C and Frank D McKay Professor, Departments of Pharmacology and Internal Medicine, Medical School

David H. Sherman, Ph.D.
Research Professor, Life Sciences Institute, Hans W. Vahlteich Professor of Medicinal Chemistry and Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Education, College of Pharmacy, Professor, Department of Chemistry, Professor, Department of Microbiology and Immunology

Funding Organizations

Office of the Provost, College of Pharmacy, Life Sciences Institute, Comprehensive Cancer Center, and the Department of Internal Medicine, Department of Pathology, and Endowment for the Basic Sciences in the U-M Medical School


For general information
Rebecca Epstein,
Administrative Assistant Senior, CDNM
Life Sciences Institute

For media inquiries
Ian Demsky,
Manager of Communications and Marketing
Life Sciences Institute


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