News & Events

4th UF Drug Discovery Symposium

The College of Pharmacy’s Center for Natural Products, Drug Discovery and Development, or CNPD3, hosts the UF Drug Discovery Symposium bi-annually; bringing together scientists from across the state. Each symposium features an exciting lineup of invited speakers covering most major research institutes within Florida and several research institutes across the USA which attract scientists from across Florida to share exciting new discoveries and promote interaction with UF colleagues.

“Even in a virtual setting, I believe the symposium will bring us closer together and promote research exchange and collaborations. We are poised to have keynote speakers from UT San Antonio and MIT presenting on the pharmacology of anticancer natural products and AI-based drug discovery, respectively, who complement this year’s symposium sessions in the areas of strength at UF” – Hendrik Luesch Ph.D., CNPD3 Director

Learn about the latest news and events involving CNPD3 research and faculty.

CNPD3 Seminar Series Fall 2020 Lecturer | Dr. Bruce Hammock

December 16th, 2020, 11AM-12PM, via Zoom Dr. Hammock’s presentation is titled “Discovery and design of soluble epoxide hydrolase inhibitors to spare opioids, control pain and address CNS diseases“

CNPD3 Seminar Series Fall 2020 Lecturer | Dr. Xiaoyu Li

December 9th, 2020, 8AM-9AM, via Zoom Dr. Li’s presentation is titled “DNA-encoded Small Molecules for Drug Discovery, Protein Labeling and Target Identification“

CNPD3 Seminar Series Fall 2020 Lecturer | Dr. Larry Tremaine

November 18th, 2020, 11AM-12PM, via Zoom Dr. Tremaine’s presentation is titled “Incorporating Drug Properties into Pharmaceutical Candidates – Role of a Drug Metabolism Scientist in Pharmaceutical Research”

CNPD3 Seminar Series Fall 2020 Lecturer | Dr. Shana Sturla

November 5th, 2020, 8-9AM, via Zoom Dr. Sturla’s presentation is titled “Striking the Genomic Achilles’ heel with Chemistry Arrows”


Luesch Seaweed

UF researchers dive into the science of how seaweed might prevent colon cancer and inflammation of the digestive tract

Published: December 3, 2019

Consuming a seaweed found near the Florida Keys may offer health benefits in preventing colon cancer and inflammatory diseases of the digest tract.

Luesch ApraS4

UF scientists eye novel drug candidate with marine origins to treat vision loss

Published: August 6, 2019

Researchers from the University of Florida and Singapore are focused on a novel drug candidate with marine origins as a new method to prevent or treat vision loss.

Kratom Grant

NIDA Awards UF College of Pharmacy additional $3.4 million grant

Published: May 13, 2019

The National Institute on Drug Abuse has awarded researchers at the University of Florida College of Pharmacy a $3.4 million grant to study kratom.

Apra S10 SliderNovel drug inspired by a marine natural product offers new approach to treat pancreatic cancer

Published: Sep 10th, 2018

A UF College of Pharmacy researcher team led by Dr. Hendrik Luesch recently developed a novel molecule based on marine cyanobacteria, Apra S10, to target pancreatic cancer cells.

Dr. Rob Huigens secures $1.7 million NIH grant to support drug discovery program Dr. Rob Huigens secures $1.7 million NIH grant to support drug discovery program

Published: Aug 10th, 2018

Known as the Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award, the grant will fund several of Huigens’ research projects, including efforts to develop compounds that will eliminate bacterial biofilm-associated infections.

Yousong Ding, Ph.D., ans assistant professor of medicinal chemistry, displays a bottle of extracted thaxtomins.UF College of Pharmacy researchers discover cost-effective way to produce ‘green’ bioherbicide

Published: Jul 11th, 2018

Organic farmers can use the natural chemicals to ward off weeds and conventional farmers can use them on weeds that grow resistant to traditional, synthetic herbicides.

American Cancer Society awards $800K grant to discover new cancer therapies American Cancer Society awards $800K grant to discover new cancer therapies

Published: Jul 3rd, 2018

Led by principal investigator, Rob Huigens, Ph.D., an assistant professor of medicinal chemistry, the grant aims to establish a drug discovery pipeline to generate and identify new small molecules that possess anticancer activities.

ChemBioChem August 2018 coverUF Medicinal Chemistry artwork featured on April 2018 ChemBioChem cover

Published: April 2018

A University of Florida research team investigating structural diversity and anticancer activity of marine‐derived elastase inhibitors has made the cover of the April edition of ChemBioChem.

Yousong Ding holds up cyanobacteria cultureUF Pharmacy researchers discover new method to harvest ‘green’ sunscreen ingredient

Published: Jan 31st, 2018

The researchers found a more efficient way to harvest the UV-absorbing amino acid known as shinorine, which marine organisms like cyanobacteria and macroalgae produce.

Hendrik Luesch headshotDr. Hendrik Luesch appointed to Natural Product Reports’ editorial board

Published: Jan 18th, 2018

Natural Product Reports is the Royal Society of Chemistry’s journal for publication of reviews in all areas of natural products chemistry, including biosynthesis, chemical biology, pharmacology and organic synthesis.

 Kratom capsulesUF Pharmacy faculty featured in CNN report on kratom and the opioid crisis

Published: Oct 26th, 2017

Christopher McCurdy, Ph.D., a professor of medicinal chemistry, was featured in a report on kratom, an herb, and its potential to treat pain and opioid withdrawal.

Key drug discovery experts from across Florida converge at 2017 UF Drug Discovery Symposium

Published: Sep 26th, 2017

The symposium featured nearly 130 participants and plenary speakers from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Scripps Research Institute-Florida and National Cancer Institute.

Mushroom Picture

Common, edible mushroom has potential to kill one type of leukemia cell, UF Health researchers find

Published: Aug 8th, 2017

Dr. Yousong Ding in the UF College of Pharmacy found the Coprinus comatus mushroom, commonly known as the lawyer’s wig or shaggy mane, killed human T-cell leukemia cells during laboratory tests.

Dr. Luesch receives golden medal honors at Thailand conferenceDr. Luesch receives golden medal honors at Thailand conference

Published: Feb 8th, 2017

Hendrik Luesch, Ph.D., a professor and chair of medicinal chemistry and the Debbie and Sylvia DeSantis Chair in Natural Products Drug Discovery and Development, received the Golden Medal Award for his presentation at the 2nd International Conference on Herbal and Traditional Medicine.

Dr. Xing’s kava research featured in Nutrition Frontiers newsletter

Published: Feb 7th, 2017

Research on the kava plant led by Chengguo “Chris” Xing, Ph.D., a professor of medicinal chemistry and the Frank A. Duckworth Eminent Scholar, was featured in the winter 2017 issue of Nutrition Frontiers newsletter published by the National Cancer Institute.

College of Pharmacy researchers develop novel ring distortion strategy to fight diseases

Published: Feb 1st, 2017

A novel strategy developed by UF Health researchers has yielded several promising compounds to fight inflammation and diseases such as colorectal cancer.

Celebrating Distinction in Pharmacy

Published: Nov 3rd, 2016

Three University of Florida College of Pharmacy researchers were recently installed as endowed professors in the college. Drs. Li and Xing from Medicinal Chemistry were honored with this highest designation for faculty.

 Center for Natural Products, Drug Discovery and Development to host inaugural UF Drug Discovery Symposium

Published: Apr 3rd, 2016

The April 29 event will highlight the center’s ongoing research activities and screening infrastructure.