Paul Carlier joins UIC as director of UICentre and professor of pharmaceutical sciences

Paul Carlier

On Aug. 16, UIC welcomes Paul Carlier, professor and director of Virginia Tech’s Center for Drug Discovery, as the new director of its collaborative, campuswide drug discovery center UICentre (Collaborative Engagement in Novel Therapeutic Research and Enterprise). Founded in 2013, UICentre is a university hub for supporting translational, “bench to bedside” scientific research and drug discovery that has successfully launched four new drugs into clinical trials.

“I am very excited to be the incoming director of UICentre,” Carlier said. “The creative and high-energy faculty and staff members I’ve met at UIC, and the commitment to excellence in basic and translational sciences I’ve seen across the entire university, have greatly impressed me. UIC is clearly poised to further expand its enviable legacy of therapeutic development. As director I will build new partnerships to help bring these drug discovery efforts to fruition.”

“Paul Carlier’s appointment as director of UICentre is an exciting next step in the center’s development,” said Vice Chancellor of Innovation TJ Augustine. “UIC has a world-class track record in drug discovery with multiple drugs on the market, and he will build on UIC’s legacy with exciting new discoveries and opportunities for commercialization.”

Carlier’s arrival comes at an important moment in UICentre’s growth: the initiative is slated to move into a new state-of-the-art home at the proposed Drug Discovery and Cancer Research Pavilion within the next few years. This will provide the center — currently housed on the College of Pharmacy building’s fourth floor — a more defined space as well as added visibility within UIC, with prospective faculty, and with the drug discovery community at large.

Trained as a chemist, Carlier’s primary home as professor will be in the UIC Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences with a joint appointment in chemistry.

“Paul’s vision and experience will bring scientists together from across UIC. It’s an exciting time to be part of the efforts on campus that will lead to new therapeutics,” said Nancy Freitag, department head of pharmaceutical sciences.

“I am thrilled to join an excellent core of medicinal chemists and look forward to learning from my colleagues in many critically related disciplines. Being jointly appointed in the department of chemistry will provide me with many additional opportunities and strengthen collaboration of UICentre with research groups in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences,” Carlier said.

In addition to his work for UICentre, Carlier brings his own lab to the College of Pharmacy, The Carlier Group, which has worked on potential therapeutic agents for depression and Alzheimer’s disease, and has more recently begun to develop therapeutics for infectious diseases, particularly malaria.

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