Harvard University has been awarded a $10 million Center of Excellence grant to establish the Harvard Center for Chemical Methodologies and Library Development (HCMLD). The National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) awarded the grant.
The center will enable a team of multidisciplinary researchers to explore new reactions for creating chemical diversity, invent new technologies to support chemical library synthesis, and build new automated analysis systems. By sharing their results and data on a public (Internet-accessible) database, they hope to facilitate an understanding of the relationship of chemical and biological spaces, and thereby to diminish the gap between biology and medicine in the future.
The new center will be directed by Stuart L. Schreiber, chair of Harvard University’s Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology (CCB) and director of the Initiative in Chemical Genetics at Harvard’s Institute of Chemistry and Cell Biology (ICCB-ICG), and will support the work of several research laboratories at the CCB and ICCB-ICG.
“The HCMLD provides an extraordinary opportunity for chemists to contribute to the life sciences in ways that would not be possible otherwise. It recognizes the vital role that chemical synthesis plays in uncovering the principles that underlie biology and medicine,” says Schreiber.
The HCMLD will be a separate entity from the CCB and ICCB-ICG, but the three facilities will benefit from their close association. The Center for Excellence grant that supports the HCMLD will be the first grant to specifically support chemical discovery at the ICCB-ICG. With the establishment of the HCMLD, the ICCB-ICG’s chemistry researchers will be able to redouble their efforts in the discovery of new chemical reactions and advancement of chemical technology platforms. The ICCB-ICG will in turn have more compounds of greater structural diversity for collaborative biological screening.