Daohong Zhou, MD, a professor with tenure in the Department of Biochemistry and Structural Biology in the Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long School of Medicine at UT Health San Antonio, has received a UT System Faculty STARs award in the amount of $1,487,563 to support his drug discovery research.
In addition, Dr. Zhou was appointed director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT)-funded Center of Innovative Drug Discovery (CIDD) in the Long School of Medicine as well as the associate director for drug development for the Mays Cancer Center, home to UT Health San Antonio MD Anderson Cancer Center, effective March 1.
Dr. Zhou’s research focuses on developing safer and better therapies for cancer and various age-related diseases and plans to utilize advanced drug discovery technologies to help other investigators at UT Health San Antonio translate their basic discoveries into effective therapeutics for these diseases as well.
“Drug discovery research is collaborative teamwork, requiring expertise from different disciplines, such as strong biomedical research and structural biology, to identify and validate targets,” Dr. Zhou shared. “I was attracted to UT Health San Antonio by the strong leadership commitment to developing an innovative drug discovery program as well as the amazing expertise and resources in these areas, including the wealth of talented investigators at the institution.”
“The UT System Faculty STARs award will allow me to further advance UT Health San Antonio’s drug discovery capabilities to the next level,” Dr. Zhou said. “Specifically, this award will be used to acquire new instrumentations for drug discovery research and expand our capability to carry out interdisciplinary drug discovery research at multiple levels, which can lead to effective therapeutics and better health outcomes in the community.”
As the newly appointed director of the CIDD, Dr. Zhou’s goal is to leverage the support from the institution as well as funding from CPRIT, NCI, the National Institutes of Health and other sources that will allow the CIDD to provide cutting-edge scientific facilities and equipment to assist investigators at UT Health San Antonio, The University of Texas at San Antonio and other collaborators in the region, giving them the ability to translate research discoveries into novel therapeutics.
In 2004, The UT System Board of Regents launched the Science and Technology Acquisition and Retention (STARs) program to support the enhancement of UT institutions across Texas through multiple types of STARs awards.