Drug Discovery Research Takes Professors To India

Three chemistry professors from Northeastern University are traveling to India this week to discuss their work in the field of drug discovery.

International Year of Chemistry
2011 has been designated the International Year of Chemistry. To mark this exciting year for chemistry, several professional societies—including the American Chemical Society, the Royal Society of Chemistry and the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry—are planning a series of global events.

‘Chemistry for Mankind’
Northeastern University Chemistry & Chemical Biology Professor and Chair Graham Jones, Associate Professor of Chemistry Michael Pollastri, and Professor of Chemistry George O’Doherty will deliver plenary lectures at two international conferences in India under the theme “Chemistry for Mankind – Innovative Ideas in Life Sciences.”
The work Jones, Pollastri and O’Doherty have been invited to present is in connection with a multi-university project led by Northeastern University, involving Professor Eric Jacobsen of Harvard University and 2005 Nobelist in Chemistry Professor Robert Grubbs of CalTech.

The project is concerned with application of new technologies for the development of natural product based pharmaceuticals, and involves collaboration with the National Research Laboratories in India.

“India has a strong tradition in science and mathematics education and is advancing rapidly in technology,” said Northeastern’s College of Science Dean Murray Gibson. “Northeastern’s profile as a global institution with intimate links between education and industry, especially in biotechnology, is a natural match.”

Northeastern a Natural Research Partner
Commenting on the collaboration, Jones noted that Northeastern University and its track record in advancing use-inspired research, was seen as a natural partner by the National Research Laboratories, whose objective is to form strong ties with US institutions to advance their innovation economy.

The Indian government is developing joint programs with the National Science Foundation (NSF) and National Institutes of Health (NIH) to fund international collaborations. The project with researchers from Harvard and CalTech is the first of a number of initiatives to be advanced.

Given the rapid development of the pharmaceutical industry in Asia, collaborations such as this will serve to strengthen Northeastern’s visibility as a global research leader and advance its portfolio in drug discovery.


College of Science