David Horne, Ph.D., and Brian Stoltz, Ph.D., are combing through a world of natural compounds that could fight disease. Their ultimate aim: find the most promising molecules, invent inexpensive ways to make large amounts of them and thoroughly study the molecules’ therapeutic potential.
|From left, David Horne and Caltech’s Brian Stoltz share a lighter moment with Steve Mayo, Caltech vice provost. (Photo by AmyCantrell.com)|
Horne, professor and chair of the Department of Molecular Medicine at City of Hope, and Stoltz, Ethel Wilson Bowles and Robert Bowles Professor of Chemistry at Caltech, began their collaboration through the Caltech-City of Hope Biomedical Research Initiative.
The initiative fosters collaborative, one-year pilot projects between City of Hope and Caltech researchers who aim to transform innovative ideas into lifesaving treatments for patients.
Horne and Stoltz currently focus on a molecule from sea squirts that shows promise in killing cancer cells. They presented their project to more than 100 friends of City of Hope and Caltech at a special April 21 event at City of Hope.
Alexander Varshavsky, Ph.D., Howard and Gwen Laurie Smits Professor of Cell Biology at Caltech, and Yuan Chen, Ph.D., professor of molecular medicine at City of Hope, also presented their work, which they hope will lead one day to “intelligent” molecules that can seek out and destroy cancer cells, leaving healthy cells alone.
The evening also included opening remarks from Michael A. Friedman, M.D., president and chief executive officer of City of Hope and holder of the Irell & Manella Cancer Center Director’s Distinguished Chair, Jean-Lou Chameau, Ph.D., president of Caltech, and Richard Jove, Ph.D., holder of the Morgan and Helen Chu Director’s Chair of Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope.
Steve Mayo, Ph.D., vice provost and Bren Professor of Biology and Chemistry at Caltech, moderated the event, which was the first of its kind for the initiative and highlighted two of the seven pilot projects currently funded.
The Caltech-City of Hope Biomedical Research Initiative was established in 2008 through the generous commitment of an anonymous philanthropist.