Obtaining UICentre Support

Project Selection and Funding Process

Due to the intensive, hands-on nature of UICentre collaborations, UICentre services are not available by request, but rather sought out and vetted through RFAs and input from the Office of Technology Management (OTM).

UICentre workflow input process

Working closely with the OTM, Invention Disclosures are examined and inventors are asked to present to UICentre. Projects with strong biological data are selected for funding both in the inventors’ labs and in the appropriate Cores.

Inception funding creates new projects that focuses on an area of expertise at UIC and multiple investigators. These projects increase interaction and creativity by bringing together diverse researchers who have the potential to create new invention disclosures.

2018 UICentre Letter of Intent and Request for Applications

UICentre, the campus-wide drug discovery initiative at UIC, is seeking new collaborations.  UICentre provides support for a range of translational science activities including seed funding, consultation, project management, and research components for collaborative small molecule drug discovery.  Support has varied depending on the mix of research needs for each project, ranging from $10-$100k including use of internal resources.

The goal of UICentre is to add value to translational projects that provide opportunities in small molecule drug discovery.  Projects can be at several stages: proteomic-driven target identification; novel bioassay development; hit-finding using high throughput screening (HTS); hit-to-lead optimization; or DMPK studies to inform proof-of-concept animal studies. Some projects may already have been reported in the form of an Invention Disclosure to the Office of Technology Management (OTM). 

The current RFA is focused upon oncology drug discovery in collaboration with the UIC Cancer Center Translational Oncology Program.  Although proposals in other areas will be considered.

Please submit a one page LOI to drugdiscovery@uic.edu, containing:

  1. Brief description of target biomolecule, pathway, biomarker, or methodology.
  2. Identity of bioassay to be used for HTS
  3. Identity of any small molecule hit identified to date.
  4. Identify assays available for use as counter-screen to demonstrate compound specificity  
  5. Identity of animal model for future proof of concept.
  6. Novelty in target/indication/assay/methodology (advantage over competition).
  7. Clinician collaborators that may be involved at present or in future.
  8. Title of invention disclosure and OTM assigned contact.
  9. Source and availability of matching funds.

LOI’s will be reviewed and initial consults scheduled with Dr Hickok and Dr Bloem. If UICentre is able to add value to the research, the PI will be requested to present to a panel of faculty associated with the Cancer Center and/or UICentre, and OTM tech managers. Since all LOIs will proceed through the consulting process, LOI’s will be received and reviewed on a continuous basis.

If you have any questions, contact:
Jason Hickok, PhD
Assistant Director, UICentre
(312) 996-7254