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This month the UNC-Chapel Hill Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research announced the 2019 Creativity Hubs Awards to accelerate solutions to societal challenges. This year the OVCR was able to award three teams with two years of funding worth up to $500,000, in partnership with the College of Arts & Sciences’ Institute for Convergent Science, the UNC School of Medicine, and the Eshelman Institute for Innovation.

One of the winning teams is BME Professor Shawn Gomez’s ID3@UNC Hub (the Infectious Disease Drug Discovery Program), which brings together scientists across the fields of virology, proteomics, bioinformatics, chemical biology, and drug discovery to provide new antiviral therapeutics useful for treating multiple viral diseases. Led by Nathaniel Moorman, PhD, associate professor of microbiology and immunology at the UNC School of Medicine, and Ken Pearce, PhD, at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy, the hub includes other UNC School of Medicine faculty: Lee Graves, PhD, Mark Heise, PhD, and Stan Lemon, MD, as well as Ralph Baric, PhD, who has a joint appointment in the department of microbiology and immunology.  Other team members are Xiaodong Wang, PhD, and Bill Zuercher, PhD from the Division of Chemical Biology at UNC.

The Creativity Hubs award program was developed by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research to foster fluid, cross-disciplinary research, to establish campus networks that nurture research innovation and risk-taking, and to promote a pervasive culture that drives discovery and curiosity. “So multifaceted are these challenges, that the only way to solve them is through the diverse perspectives offered by scientists from diverse fields,” said Vice Chancellor for Research Terry Magnuson, PhD. “Supporting these teams through the Creativity Hubs awards yields solutions.” This year’s winners were selected from 23 proposals, involving 207 UNC researchers representing 46 departments across 11 schools and the College of Arts & Sciences. Many congratulations Prof Gomez and ID3@UNC Hub! To read more about the Creativity Hubs Award, visit UNC School of Medicine website here.

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