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Professor Tom Prisinzano talks research with US Senator Jerry Moran and NIH officials

Friday, October 14, 2016

U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) visited the KU School of Pharmacy on Oct. 13 and brought as his guests two representatives of the National Institute of Health: National Institute for General Medical Sciences Director Jon Lorsch and Center for Research Capacity Building Acting Director Fred Taylor. The group came to hear from Thomas Prisinzano, professor and chair of the Department of Medicinal Chemistry, and Scott Hefty, associate professor in molecular biosciences, and see a presentation of the researchers’ COBRE Chemical Biology of Infectious Disease project, recently funded by an NIH grant. Prisinzano and Hefty led the group on a tour of their laboratory following the presentation.

 “As a staunch supporter of medical research in Kansas, connecting our nation’s top researchers with the resources they need to save and improve lives is a priority of mine,” said Sen. Moran, Senate Health Appropriations Subcommittee member. “Bringing KU and the NIH together amplifies the great work done at both institutions for the benefit of our state and nation. I appreciate the efforts of all who helped make today’s events such a success.”

School of Pharmacy Dean Ken Audus said he was grateful to have the opportunity to showcase the talents of the SOP research program and specifically, research faculty Tom Prisinzano and Scott Hefty.

“It’s an honor to have Senator Moran visit the KU School of Pharmacy again so he can see first-hand the impressive and important work that takes place here every day,” Audus said. “Researchers Thomas Prisinzano and Scott Hefty represent the best of best in Kansas and the world, and we’re grateful that Senator Moran took time out of his schedule to learn more about them and the work they do on infectious diseases.”

NIH representative Lorsch spoke highly of the School of Pharmacy and of his afternoon visit to the University of Kansas Medical Center.

“We were extremely impressed with the world-class research we heard about today in Kansas,” Lorsch said. “Whether it’s finding new ways to fight antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections, developing new vaccines or understanding the causes of craniofacial malformations such as cleft palate, NIH-supported researchers in Kansas are clearly making important advances.”

Learn more about the Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE): Chemical Biology of Infectious Disease project.



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2nd among all schools of pharmacy in National Institutes of Health funding
Brings more than $20 million in external funding into the state each year
7 of 19 cancer drugs formulated through the National Cancer Institute were developed at the KU School of Pharmacy
3,000 free flu shots given to Kansans in need during the past 5 years
4,000 living alumni, 63 percent of them living and working in Kansas
KU pharmacists practice in 95 of Kansas’ 105 counties
20th among public schools of pharmacy.
—U.S. News & World Report
$20.2 million NIH research grant earned by Distinguished Professor Jeff Aubé was 2nd largest in Kansas history
100 percent placement after graduation for KU Pharm.D. students
Established in 1885 as the 1st professional program at KU