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Fall 2011

Compound interest

Date: October 3, 2011

I am writing to provide an update about the story you reported in your Winter 2008 issue, “Old Drugs, New Tricks.” The article detailed my efforts, in collaboration with senior Hopkins researchers David Sullivan and Jun Liu, to build a library of nearly all of the existing 9,000 known drugs with an eye toward testing them for new uses.

Last May, I was delighted to travel to Portugal to receive the 2010 Bial Award with Distinction along with my PhD thesis advisors Liu and Sullivan. The award was given by the Bial Foundation and was presented by the President of the Portugese Republic, Anibal Silva, for our work on drug repurposing.

The Johns Hopkins Clinical Compound Library is doing quite well and we have now shared our drug library with over 45 collaborators around the world. The principal discovery from my PhD thesis, the anti-angiogenic effects of the antifungal drug itraconazole, is currently in four Phase II clinical trials for breast, lung, prostate, and skin cancers. Currently I am doing my fellowship in oncology at Dana Farber in Boston.

Curtis Chong, MD/PhD ’08
Boston, MA