Drug Discovery

A researcher holding a flask with two colleagues nearby.

Johns Hopkins Drug Discovery works with researchers across The Johns Hopkins University to discover and develop tomorrow's therapeutics for a wide range of human disorders.

The program's origin can be traced back to the NeuroTranslational Drug Discovery Program, created in 2010 as an integral part of the Pedersen Brain Science Institute (BSi) under the leadership of Jack Griffin, M.D., Janice Clements, Ph.D.Richard Huganir, Ph.D., and Jeffrey Rothstein, M.D., Ph.D. Pairing a veteran drug discovery team from the pharmaceutical industry with a world-renowned cohort of Johns Hopkins scientists, engineers and clinicians, the program accelerated the translation of neuroscience discoveries into novel small-molecule therapeutics.

Since its inception, the drug discovery team has provided the Johns Hopkins neuroscience community with core expertise in medicinal chemistry, assay development and screening, drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics, and animal pharmacology/toxicology. The collaborative efforts have led to the creation of drug discovery projects with significant potential to impact the lives of patients suffering from neurological disorders.

The BSi's initial seed investment in drug discovery has blossomed into the founding of the first international Academic Drug Discovery Consortium, with five Johns Hopkins spinoffs, multiple pharmaceutical industry partnerships and over $25 million in National Institutes of Health/Department of Defense grants.

Based on early successes and traction, the program developed into its own entity, Johns Hopkins Drug Discovery, in 2015, led by director Barbara Slusher, Ph.D., M.A.S. Today, its mission has expanded beyond neurological disorders to cover more therapeutic areas including oncology, immunology, psychiatry, ophthalmology and gastrointestinal disorders.

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