Message from the Director

The Center for Drug Design (CDD) was created to combine research and scholarship leading to the development of novel drugs for therapeutic applications, such as HIV, cancer, neurological diseases, dermatological agents, infectious diseases, novel processes, and medical devices.

Robert Vince, PhD
Robert Vince, CDD Director

The CDD was suggested by President Mark Yudof, developed by Dr. Robert Vince, and approved as part of the Academic Health Center (AHC)by VP for Research Christine Maziar and Sr VP, Frank Cerra, MD, and the Council of Deans of the AHC on January 8, 2002.

As part of the AHC Shared Centers, the CDD combines the best of academic tradition along with an expectation of innovation and independence both inspiring and driving our Center members to excel, and providing significant value for our academic and research community. By existing outside an organized school, college, or department, the CDD offers a new and refocused approach combining the best of academic and industry standards. Using very few staff, the CDD runs with great efficiency and without redundancy, which has been a hallmark for the Center from its inception.

On the academic side, the Center and its personnel have been awarded grants, published papers in peer-reviewed journals, received invitations to give scientific presentations, received research recognition awards, collaborated extensively across disciplines of study, trained postdoctoral, doctoral, and undergraduate researchers who have gone on to careers around the world. Center projects expanding scientific scope are shared within the community and are protected by patents as we drive towards bringing our discoveries to marketable use. The Center engages in numerous collaborations within the university and with national and international laboratories.

The benefits that the CDD can deliver is illustrated by carbovir, an HIV compound commercially available HIV drug sold as Ziagen® by GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceutical Co., designed and developed by Dr. Robert Vince. Royalties to the University of Minnesota contributed to the funding of the 21st Century Graduate Fellowship Endowment, the McGuire Translational Research Facility, and continues to fund, several Academic Health Center salaries, the Office of Technology Commercialization as well as the Center for Drug Design. 

Robert Vince, PhD