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Of Note

Alexander Price Awarded K25 Grant to Advance Drug Discovery Technology

Alexander Price, staff scientist on the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI), has been awarded nearly $400,000 through a highly competitive K25 grant from the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. This grant will support the further development of a cutting-edge technology called DNA-encoded library (DEL) screening, which Price and his colleagues will use to rapidly identify promising drugs, such as new antibiotics.

“Developing effective antibiotics is very difficult and we are rapidly approaching a crisis,” said Price, who will lead the four-year project in the lab of TSRI Associate Professor Brian Paegel. “The K25 grants pull researchers from non-traditional disciplines to bring new skill sets and perspectives to bear on important biomedical problems like this.”

DEL technology plays a crucial role in the early stages of drug discovery, where scientists know what they want to target but don’t yet have a “lead” structure to optimize as a drug. DELs allow scientists to quickly and cheaply sort through tens of millions of potential drug molecules to see if they bind to a target of interest.

Price and his colleagues are looking to take this screening a step further by using droplet microfluidics technology to screen molecules for function, not just affinity. “Developing this technology further will increase the rate of discovery, enable new modes of screening (e.g. cell-based) and allow us to pursue difficult classes of targets, such as protein-protein interactions and new antibiotics,” said Price.

The grant number is 1K25AI128000.

FL Volunteers Pitch In at Earth Day Cleanup!

fl earthday
Scripps Florida volunteers and their families spent last Saturday, April 22, cleaning local waterways as part of the “Adopted Spot” program in Palm Beach County. Pictured here (left to right) are: Carol Swete (EH&S), Wayra Navia and her daughter Abby (Genomics Core), Luis Calzado (EH&S), Grad Student Osayenwenre Erhauyi, Tom Carroll (EH&S), Grad Student Benjamin Merritt, and Sasha Judge and her mother Galina Judge (EH&S). (Photo courtesy Peter Norris.)

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