Annual Donors Help Winship Discover New Drugs... and New Hope

new drugs

Dr. Haian Fu (right), shown with Dr. Fadlo R. Khuri, is the Director of Winship's Discovery and Developmental Therapeutics Program. Dr. Fu was recently awarded a $4.5 million grant for cancer drug discovery from the National Cancer Institute. His most recent work was supported, in part, by a pilot grant from the 2009 Winship Gala.

Private philanthropy of all types and sizes is essential in the fight against cancer. To maximize the impact of ongoing annual gifts, the Winship Director’s Fund pools these gifts to support research priorities. Recently, a $50,000 allocation from this fund was made to Winship’s Discovery and Developmental Therapeutics Program, the primary driver of new cancer drugs at Winship.

The gold standard for cancer researchers is targeted therapy: a drug that stops the out-of-control growth of cancer cells without damaging healthy cells. Our drug discovery program emphasizes identifying new targets in cancer cells, developing compounds that work against those targets, and bringing the most promising ones into the clinic for patient therapy.

A potential drug that hits the right target has to pass a series of tests in the lab, in animal studies, and eventually in patient clinical trials before it can win FDA approval. Winship investigators have been advancing cancer drug discovery at every stage in this process. They have shown that new anti-cancer agents can come from a variety of sources, including medications used successfully to treat other diseases and from natural compounds found in plants.

Drug delivery is undergoing major advancement as well. Winship researchers are partnering with the Georgia Institute of Technology to develop exciting nanoparticle technologies that can deliver drugs to the target more effectively, as well as detect and classify tumors when they are still small.

Emory is a major player in drug discovery. In a study released last year, Emory was cited as the nation’s fourth largest contributor to the discovery of new drugs and vaccines by public sector research institutions. The seven Emory products in the study include two HIV/AIDS drugs that are among the most commonly used and most successful therapies for this disease.

Winship continues to strengthen existing team-driven research projects and aggressively recruit top physicians and investigators to keep the quality and depth of our scientific programs among the best in the nation. Gifts of every size from our loyal supporters make much of this possible.

To donate to the Winship Director’s Fund, please contact Mark Hughes at 404.778.1288 or

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