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Projects

The Center for Biomolecular Therapeutics (CBT) was established as a Center within the University of Maryland, School of Medicine and is located in 25,000 square feet of laboratory space within the Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research (IBBR), a three-building complex of research laboratories at the University of Maryland College Park, Shady Grove. The CBT is comprised of faculty from the University of Maryland, Baltimore (including the Schools of Medicine & Pharmacy), The University of Maryland College Park, The University of Maryland, Baltimore County, the IBBR, and several other Universities within the USM. The CBT director, David J. Weber, PhD, also serves as the Associate Director of the IBBR.The CBT's mission is to facilitate the identification and development of diagnostics and therapeutics. To accomplish this goal, the CBT (i) collaborates with research and clinical faculty across all USM campuses to identify important biological targets; (ii) develops a parallel educational process to raise the level of expertise across USM concerning the discovery-to-commercialization “pipeline”, including regulatory and business expertise, and creation of an active visiting faculty scientist and postdoctoral fellow program; (iii) interacts with the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries in coordination with our Offices of Research and Development (ORD) to help maintain CBT’s focus on the most biomedically and commercially important targets, diagnostics, and therapeutics, and (iv) manages state-of-the-art scientific discipline-based programs necessary for the discovery and regulation of disease targets. Internal and external Business and Academic Advisory Committees (BAACs) consisting of leaders of the CBT, corporate advisors, academic advisors, and members of the ORD provide advice and help set priorities for the CBT on a regular basis.

Seven research groups and their group leaders within the CBT work with the Director to assist PIs, academic scientists, post doctoral fellows, and students in the USM to complete state-of-the-art research involving: Genomics & Bioinformatics (in conjunction with the Institute of Genome Sciences, IGS; UMB), Target Validation & Screening, Protein Production & Characterization, Structural Biology, Computer-Aided Drug Design, Medicinal Chemistry, and In vivo Biology & Drug Testing. CBT scientists occupy laboratory, office and conference space within the IBBR and at UMB. The state-of-art laboratory space in the IBBR contains all of the equipment and supplies needed to develop recombinant protein expression vectors as well as express (bioreactors/fermenters), purify (HPLC/FPLC), crystallize, and characterize (X-ray and NMR) proteins, protein complexes, nucleic acid complexes, as well as complexes involving small molecule inhibitors (i.e. drugs) and biological therapeutics. The center also has dedicated space for high-throughput screening and target validation at the biochemical and cellular levels (robots, plate readers, tissue culture suites). There is a separate lab dedicated to Medicinal Chemistry and a computer suite for CADD. Another lab is dedicated to in vivo animal testing that includes 600 square feet of wet-lab space, a 100 square feet environmental chamber, animal holding room, procedure room and large-equipment space that is adjacent to the small animal vivarium. The center can also produce constructs/targeted ES cells for generating new mouse models for in vivo testing. All laboratories have house vacuum, hood ventilation, and natural gas hook-ups. Autoclave, dishwashing, and pure water facilities are provided on each floor of building. Office suites (PI, postdocs, students and staff) are clustered together and located adjacent to the laboratory space. All offices are equipped and with desktop computers and broadband internet access is freely available throughout the site (wired and wireless). The IBBR complex has a business office and project management personnel to assist with project timelines/priorities as well as purchasing/receiving, on-site information technology support, dedicated facilities support. These resources are imperative for combining basic science and state-of-the-art technologies to develop biomolecular therapeutics (also see Major Equipment). The resources for the specific groups are outlined on each of their pages.

Project Suggestions

Want to collaborate with us?  

Please send your research proposals to:

David Weber, PhD
108 N. Greene Street, 439
Baltimore, MD 21201
dweber@umaryland.edu