McCardell Bicentennial Hall 216
276 Bicentennial Way
Middlebury, VT 05753
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Open to the Public

A guest lecture titled, “Bridging the gap between university and community: Using drug discovery and outreach to combat disease disparities and engineered inequity in Chicago” by Associate Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Brian T. Murphy, University of Illinois, Chicago.

For nearly a century, the field of microbial natural products (NP) antibiotic discovery has relied on cultivatable bacteria to supply the drug lead pipeline, as greater than 50% of clinical antibiotics are derived from NPs. Thus, the front end of NP discovery – building libraries of cultivatable bacteria and their associated small molecules – has been the cornerstone of finding new therapeutic agents since the 1930s. However, a major obstacle toward discovering new chemical structures is the high degree of strain duplication and NP redundancy in these microbial libraries. This limitation has crippled discovery efforts in our field, and is one major reason pharmaceutical companies have largely abandoned the search for new drugs from NPs. Our lab’s efforts to redesign this pipeline into a more efficient process will be presented. However, our research does not happen in a vacuum. Our laboratories – and the universities that house them – co-exist with our surrounding communities, and each has its own unique history. Understanding this history is critical toward building a bridge between science and the general public (which currently is noticeably absent). In the case of Chicago, decades of federal/local policy and engineered racial segregation have robbed communities of color of generational wealth. This has resulted in the unequal distribution of educational resources and a palpable lack of educational opportunity, a right that is critical toward upward mobility. UIC is neighbors with one hard-hit community in particular, Chicago’s Near West Side and Garfield Park. Efforts to build a partnership and engage in mutual learning and science outreach with local community centers, as well as the benefits of diversity and inclusion of underrepresented communities toward scientific research, will be discussed.

Sponsored by:
Molecular Biology and BioChemistry Program; Anderson Freeman Resource Center

Contact Organizer

Mayer, Judy
(802) 443-5451