Torrey Pines Institute Welcomes New Collaborators to the Florida Drug Discovery Acceleration Program

March 10, 2015

Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies (TPIMS) is pleased to welcome the newest collaborators to the Florida Drug Discovery Acceleration Program (FLDDAP). Chad Dickey, Ph.D., Associate Professor with the Byrd Alzheimer’s Institute within USF Health is the 40th Principal Investigator within Florida to join the FLDDAP. Dr. Dickey’s research is focused on more than 15 neurological diseases, collectively termed “tauopathies” which includes Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Dickey’s lab is also working in the areas of glaucoma and depression.

Appu Rathinavelu, Ph.D., Executive Director, Rumbaugh-Goodwin Institute for Cancer Research at Nova Southeastern University, Associate Dean, Institutional Planning and Development, and Associate Professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences becomes the 41st Principal Investigator in the FLDDAP. Since 1992, Dr. Rathinavelu has been involved in cancer research, focusing today on new cancer therapeutics and diagnostic methods for breast, lung, pancreatic, and colorectal cancers. Dr. Rathinavelu’s lab is also studying gene defects and cellular mechanisms that enhance metastasis and increase drug resistance.

The FLDDAP allows TPIMS to share its large collection of compound libraries and associated screening technologies to Florida Institutions to accelerate drug discovery and commercialization statewide. Since July 1, 2013, the program has been funded by the state of Florida and administered through the Florida Department of Health. With the addition of these two collaborators, the FLDDAP now includes 41 Principal Investigators from 15 Florida Institutes. The FLDDAP is investigating 54 unique, biological targets with the potential to identify hit compounds for development into therapeutics to treat human, animal, and agricultural diseases. To date one patent application has been filed and over $10 million in joint grant proposals have been submitted. Two grants have recently been funded, $800,000 for 2 years from the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society to Christopher Cogle, MD at the University of Florida and$1.8 million for 5 years from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences to Barry Rosen, Ph.D., at Florida International University.