Academic Collaborations

Innovative thinking is the hallmark of academic research. Through such thinking new ideas are developed to address societal issues. In the realm of drug discovery, the UPDDI is prepared to help translate those ideas into reality. While we have major Programs in Metastatic Breast Cancer, Neurodegenerative diseases, and Liver Diseases, the UPDDI is dedicated to support projects in any therapeutic area in optimizing the discovery and development of new molecular entities and diagnostic biomarkers for advancement to the clinic.


Drug Discovery Programs are based on Quantitative Systems Pharmacology and explore opportunities with multiple PIs with a defined goal of developing a therapeutic, and potentially a companion diagnostic, addressing a critical, unmet clinical need. These collaborations incorporate a committed, integrated, multidisciplinary team including clinical, pharmacology, computational and systems biology, screening, medicinal chemistry, basic biology, safety, and ADMET expertise throughout the program. The team adheres to a comprehensive plan following a determined critical path. Keys to these programs are the development and alignment of all necessary resources towards the goal (including pharmaceutical partners) and the clinical relevancy at all phases of the program.


Drug Discovery Projects have the goal of generating specific information/knowledge such as testing a hypothesis or model, developing an assay or screen, or validating new technology. These collaborations are generally between a Principal Investigator (PI) and investigators in the UPDDI where the resources are applied to a specific task toward the goal (e.g. assay development or gathering data). Individual projects can evolve into a program.

We welcome the opportunity to discuss your project and to demonstrate how our integrative approach can help power your discoveries. Please contact the UPDDI Director of Operations to set up an informal meeting to discuss your ideas and proposals. We look forward to collaborating with you to create a new future.





Mark E. Schurdak, PhD

Director of Operations

University of Pittsburgh Drug Discovery Institute &

Research Associate Professor of Computational and Systems Biology

Main line 412-648-9200
Fax 412-648-9009

W954 Biomedical Science Tower
200 Lothrop Street
Pittsburgh PA 15261