Drawing on expertise from across campus, a new center at the University of Alabama will help drug therapies that show promise in the lab to become effective treatments for patients.
The UA Board of Trustees recently approved forming the Center for Convergent Bioscience and Medicine (CCBM) with research dedicated to developing novel therapies for immuno-inflammatory diseases by adopting an integrated approach combining innovative drug-delivery strategies with drug discovery and repurposing.
Part of the Alabama Life Research Institute (ALRI), the center staff plans to capitalize on emerging opportunities to grow a life science research base focused on developing new drug delivery systems. It will be positioned to leverage UA’s focus on rural health and family medicine through the College of Community Health Sciences, boosting the number of graduates prepared to meet the growing demand for advanced research and development in the evolving pharmaceutical industry.
“CCBM’s research will contribute to improved quality of life, while educating students to become leaders of the next generation of drug discovery and delivery,” said Dr. Sharlene Newman, ALRI executive director. “It will strengthen efforts in this area already underway on campus and complement work done across the state in the area of bioscience and translating preclinical outcomes to deliverable therapies in clinical settings.”
Biomedical science is one of ALRI’s core research themes. ALRI is a focal point for interdisciplinary research that seeks to investigate the human condition at all levels, from the molecular to the environmental, with the goal of improving the lives of the people of Alabama and beyond.
The new center will be led by Dr. Ravi Kumar, Distinguished University Research Professor in the College of Community Health Sciences with an adjunct appointment in the College of Engineering’s Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering. Kumar is internationally recognized in nanoscience and nanomedicine, which deliver drugs more effectively using particles that are one-billionth of 1 meter.