Institute for Drug Resistance hosts workshop

Multidisciplinary group explores drug discovery, development

By Mark L. Shelton

UMass Medical School Communications

May 24, 2013

schiffer-celiaSome of the nation’s foremost experts on drug design and discovery will speak at a workshop focused on the challenges of drug resistance, hosted by the UMass Institute for Drug Resistance. The workshop, “Exploring the Challenge of Drug Discovery and Development: A multidisciplinary examination of hurdles and barriers created by drug resistance,” will be held May 30 and feature presenters from Novartis, Oxford Bioscience, and the Pew Charitable Trusts.

“We have become aware that part of the issue with drug resistance, and especially with antibiotics, is that the regulatory process is actually making it very difficult for companies to develop new drugs and antibiotics and really move them forward, so we are starting to open up that discussion a little bit,” said Celia Schiffer, PhD (at right), professor of biochemistry and molecular pharmacology and co-director of the Institute for Drug Resistance, in an interview earlier this year with the journal Future Medicinal Chemistry. Dr. Schiffer organized the workshop. “We are trying to bring basic science regulatory issues and the public policy issues of drug development forward.”

Speakers at the workshop include Manuel Navia, PhD, Oxford Bioscience Partners and the founder of Estabrook Pharmaceuticals; Ann Kwong PhD, the founder of InnovaTID and the former vice president at Vertex Pharmaceuticals; and Anastasia Khvorova, PhD, a member of the RNA Therapeutics Institute at UMass Medical School and the former chief scientific officer at RXi Pharmaceuticals.

For further information on the Institute for Drug Resistance, contact Danielle Federa at

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