UICentre Letter of Intent & Request for Applications

Jason Hickok
Post date: 
March 22, 2017


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 $10-65k or up to $100k if internal resources are also costed.


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 along the continuum: proteomic-driven target Identification using synthetic chemical probes; hit-finding based upon high throughput screening (HTS) assay development; or hit-to-lead optimization. DMPK studies can also form a stand-alone component 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). 

In 2017, UICentre will favor funding HTS for discovery of small molecule hits for biomedically relevant targets.  In the spirit of the Chicago Biomedical Consortium (CBC) HTS award program that is no longer active, UICentre will provide matching funds for projects demonstrating availability of a bioassay that is suitable for HTS.  For a brief overview of HTS assay criteria and technology, please click here  or consult the NIH Assay Guidance Manual: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK83783/

If interested, please submit a one page letter of intent 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 by a UICentre faculty panel on a continuous basis. Priority will be given to HTS proposals those with matching funds, but all LOIs will be considered by UICentre.

If you have any questions, contact:
Jason Hickok, PhD
Assistant Director UICentre

(312) 996-7254