Chemical Biology and Drug Discovery

The Chemical Biology and Drug Discovery (CBDD) cluster supports a hands-on cross-disciplinary learning environment for students interested in therapeutic discovery and related molecular sciences with a focus on the modulation of biological systems. Trainees from both the life and chemical sciences leverage informal acquisition of skills and knowledge in these diverse topics, while delving more deeply into their respective disciplinary education and area of research interest.   

Areas of CBDD  research interest include the application of molecular sciences to the development of small molecules for use in complex biological systems, the identification of molecular targets in signal transduction, or disease progression pathways amenable to therapeutic intervention.

Getting Involved

This cluster does not have required coursework; however, to augment formal classroom instruction, students should participate in cluster activities, including:

  • Annual Drug Discovery Symposium: This symposium features successful therapeutic development researchers from both academia and industry to present on the latest in the field as well as a poster session for Chicagoland students and postdoctoral fellows and a networking reception.
  • Seminars: Visiting lecturers are invited to present on a variety of chemical biology and drug discovery topics, covering technique-specific methods, breakthrough discoveries, and broad reviews of the therapeutic process.
  • Workshops: Cluster students are periodically invited to attend free training workshops to learn how to use some of the advanced instrumentation hosted in CMIDD’s research facilities to generate novel data.


  • Each year four travel stipends for up to $500 each are available for students who will be traveling to national conferences relevant to CBDD to present their research. Award recipients are expected to present their research at CMIDD’s Annual Drug Discovery Symposium.

For the most up-to-date cluster information, stipend application and event list visit the Center for Molecular Innovation and Drug Discovery website HERE.

Cluster Directors

  • Karl Scheidt, PhD, Director, Center for Molecular Innovation and Drug Discovery, Dow Chemical Company Research Professor of Chemistry in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, and Professor in Pharmacology

Drug Discovery Faculty Members

* Denotes IBiS and DGP Training Faculty