UArizona College of Pharmacy Researchers Available for Interviews at Skaggs Center Grand Opening, Feb. 21

Following a ribbon-cutting ceremony, University of Arizona College of Pharmacy researchers will be available to discuss exciting drug-discovery research, how the renovated and expanded Skaggs Pharmaceutical Sciences Center will aid their research, and the latest trends in health care.

TUCSON, Ariz. – University of Arizona College of Pharmacy researchers will be available for interviews during the upcoming grand opening of the college’s newly renovated Skaggs Pharmaceutical Sciences Center.

Directly following the grand opening ribbon cutting event, at 11:30 a.m., tours of the facilities will be provided to guests and media who wish to view the new wing of the building. During this time, reporters  will have the opportunity to speak with world-class  researcheres in their lab settings, where they are developing new drugs to treat some of humankind’s most serious diseases.

Following the tours, at 1 p.m., a mini symposium will take place, featuring the same researchers discussing their current projects. Those researchers will be available for interviews immediately afterward.

Available for Interview:

Jun Wang, PhD, assistant professor, Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, UArizona College of Pharmacy

  • Research Focus: Developing medication used for treating viral infections (antivirals), such as influenza A and B.
  • Current Research Project(s):
    • Dr. Wang is targeting the mutation in the M2 channel that created resistance to amantadine and rimantadine – the two adamantanes used to treat the flu. His research has located the mutation and found a molecule that blocks the new channel through which the virus could release its RNA.
    • In a separate research project, still in its early stages, Dr. Wang found several compounds that seem to block the assembly of the enzyme, rendering it useless and stopping the virus in its tracks. The M2 inhibitors and PA-PB1 inhibitors Dr. Wang has developed represent one of the most promising influenza antivirals that are in preclinical development.
  • Researcher Bio: https://www.pharmacy.arizona.edu/directory/profile/jun-wang-phd
  • Wang Laboratory: http://www.u.arizona.edu/~junwangua/

Chris Hulme, PhD, professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, UArizona College of Pharmacy. Dr. Hulme is also the director of Medicinal Chemistry at the UArizona BIO5 Translational Drug Discovery Center.

  • Research Focus: Small-molecule drug design and developing enabling chemical methodologies to expedite the drug-discovery process.
  • Current Research Project:
    • Dr. Hulme’s research team is exploring a small molecule drug known as DYR219 to treat Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Rather than directly attacking the visible hallmarks of AD, namely the plaques and tangles caused by the disease’s relentless progression, the new drug acts by inhibiting an early pathway believed to be critical in the formation of both plaques and tangles. By preventing or delaying the development of AD pathologies, DYR219, or a similar drug, may halt the progression of Alzheimer’s, before it damages the brain beyond repair. The promising therapy, while still in experimental stages, may succeed where other treatments have failed, and could be effective against a range of neurodegenerative illnesses, including AD.
    • These compounds have been licensed by Illuminos Therapeutics. 
  • Published Study: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12035-019-01684-9
  • Researcher Bio: https://www.pharmacy.arizona.edu/directory/profile/christopher-hulme-phd

Nathan Cherrington, PhD, ATS, associate dean, research and graduate studies and professor, pharmacology and toxicology – directs graduate studies for the UArizona’s College of Pharmacy and Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center.

  • Research Focus: Diagnostic development
  • Current Research Project:
    • Dr. Cherrington’s research has focused on creating a non-invasive diagnostic to determine if someone has Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH), a chronic liver disease that irregulates the function of the liver. His work involves finding the perfect drug to accompany the molecular change in a NASH-affected liver. After 15 years of research, Dr. Cherrington  discovered a drug that meets that safety criteria and is specific and selective for the three molecular mechanisms  altered by NASH. By adding his invention of measuring a specific metabolite in the blood or urine, he has been able to develop a safe alternative to diagnosing NASH.
  • Researcher Bio: https://www.pharmacy.arizona.edu/directory/profile/nathan-cherrington-phd-ats

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NOTE: Photos and logos available upon request.

About the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy
The University of Arizona College of Pharmacy is the premier pharmacy college in the Southwest, and one of the top in the nation, focused on drug discovery, toxicology, pharmaceutics, health outcomes and sciences, pharmaceutical education and research through interprofessional training and collaborative public/private partnerships. Preparing pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists in undergraduate, professional, graduate and post-doctoral programs, the college embraces an entrepreneurial spirit, providing tailored educational opportunities to broaden students' experiences. Established 72 years ago as the first health sciences college at UArizona, the college has a long history of improving science and health, both in Arizona and around the world. It is currently ranked No. 8 among the nation’s 143 colleges of pharmacy by the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy. For more information: pharmacy.arizona.edu (Follow us: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube).

About the University of Arizona Health Sciences
The University of Arizona Health Sciences is the statewide leader in biomedical research and health professions training. The UArizona Health Sciences includes the Colleges of Medicine (Tucson and Phoenix), Nursing, Pharmacy, and the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, with main campus locations in Tucson and the growing Phoenix Biomedical Campus in downtown Phoenix. From these vantage points, the Health Sciences reaches across the state of Arizona and the greater Southwest to provide cutting-edge health education, research and community outreach services. A major economic engine, the Health Sciences employs nearly 5,000 people, has approximately 900 faculty members and garners $200 million in research grants and contracts annually. For more information: uahs.arizona.edu (Follow us: Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | LinkedIn | Instagram).