An innovative proposal to dramatically reduce the cost of drug discovery has won Scripps Research chemist Thomas Kodadek, PhD, one of ten Transformative Research awards from the Director of the National Institutes of Health, Francis Collins, MD, PhD.
Kodadek’s award, worth more than $4 million over five years, is part of an initiative called the NIH Common Fund High-Risk, High-Reward program, which is intended to support unconventional approaches to major challenges in biomedical and behavioral research.
Kodadek’s proposal harnesses the power of scale both large and small. It employs miniaturization technologies developed by Kodadek and others at Scripps Research, reducing the amount, and thus the expense, of compounds required to test drug candidates against cellular targets. It also envisions development of vast “libraries” of millions of biologically important compounds displayed on beads roughly the size of a human cell.