About Us

The Center for Natural Products, Drug Discovery and Development (CNPD3) was instituted in 2013 and the headquarters are based in the Department of Medicinal Chemistry in the College of Pharmacy at the Medical Science Building. The founding of the Center was driven by the collective initiative by our department and the Dean of the College with the recognition of the need for a concerted drug discovery effort at UF, which coincided with the funding of our proposal for the Drug Discovery and Development (D3) preeminence initiative.

With initial financial support from the Vice President for Research, we have been able to build up the infrastructure with state-of-the-art equipment and facilities to strengthen the assay development and screening capabilities of the Center. The faculty, staff and postdoctoral fellows providing hands-on expertise to the center are funded by the College, NIH/NCI, UF Health Cancer Center and the Director’s endowed DeSantis Professorship funds. Our Center’s expertise is strategically complemented by affiliated faculty from the different colleges and departments across UF who possess ancillary skills to strengthen our efforts and diversify our activities. Together we possess the requisite core expertise for an academic drug discovery and development platform.

Dr. Hendrik Luesch, Center DirectorAs the leader of UF’s drug discovery initiative, the CNPD3 hosts the annual “UF Drug Discovery Symposium” bringing together both local and national key players in this field. It is my belief that CNPD3 will emerge as one of the leading drug discovery and development research centers in the country.

Hendrik Luesch signature

Hendrik Luesch, Ph.D. Debbie and Sylvia DeSantis Chair in Natural Products Drug Discovery and Development; Professor and Chair of the Department of Medicinal Chemistry

CNPD3 Mission

CNPD3 Mission The mission of the Center for Natural Products, Drug Discovery and Development, or CNPD3, is to foster early-stage drug discovery by providing the infrastructure, chemical libraries and expertise to screen for disease-relevant targets and for drug-like disease-modifying molecules that modulate target activity. The CNPD3 provides the academic home for the identification of drug leads and subsequent development campaigns carried out in concert with other biomedical centers at the University of Florida to drive forward preclinical and clinical drug development.

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Education and Training

The educational and training objective is to integrate all Ph.D. graduate students and postdoctoral fellows whose interdisciplinary interests are focused on drug discovery. The CNPD3 provides both drug discovery expertise and the infrastructure to screen for novel targets and chemical entities that modulate target activity.

Dr. Luesch and Fatma work in the medicinal chemistry lab