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Allen D. Roses Rejoins Duke to Lead New Drug Discovery Institute

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Duke Health News 919-660-1306

DURHAM, NC – Allen D. Roses, M.D., an internationally renowned research scientist will be returning to the Duke University School of Medicine to lead a new drug discovery institute, Dr. R. Sanders Williams, senior vice chancellor for academic affairs at Duke University Medical Center, announced today.

Roses, who left the university in 1997 after a long career at Duke, has been senior vice president for genetics research and pharmacogenetics at GlaxoSmithKline.

"Allen is a world-class research scientist. We are thrilled to have him rejoin Duke to focus on development of new therapies to meet major unmet medical needs," said Williams. "The new Duke Drug Discovery Institute he will lead will bring together researchers with a wide range of skills pertinent to the drug discovery continuum, adding an exciting and novel dimension to Duke's established programs in genomic medicine and translational research."

Officials said the institute will employ an innovative new model designed to fill the void between academic drug discovery and translational medicine. "This first-of-its kind institute will be a new approach to the development of drugs by spanning early molecular discovery to proof-of-concept clinical trials," said Dr. Roses. "I'm looking forward to utilizing the knowledge I've obtained through my years in the academic and pharmaceutical industries to bring new, effective medications to market from overlooked molecular compounds."

The institute will translate published research into therapeutic molecules by taking on a role that has traditionally been held by the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. Work will also begin to investigate potentially successful molecules that have cleared preclinical safety studies, but have been passed over for further development by medium and large pharmaceutical companies, Roses said.

Williams said the institute will complement the NIH-funded Duke Translational Medicine Institute that is comprised of the Duke Clinical Research Institute, the Duke Translational Research Institute and the Duke Community Clinical Research Unit, all under the direction of Rob Califf, M.D., vice chancellor of clinical research and professor of medicine.

Officials said they expect the institute will be funded by philanthropic support and privately sponsored projects focused on specific molecules, as well as by federal grants and sponsored research agreements with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.

Roses spent the majority of his career at Duke. During his initial 27-year tenure he led research to uncover genetic links associated with the development of Alzheimer's disease. He is well known for his work surrounding the discovery of the ApoE4 gene that has been found to predispose those with the gene to develop Alzheimer's.

In addition to his appointment as the director of the new institute, Roses will reassume his chair as Jefferson-Pilot Professor of Neurobiology and Genetics and will be a member of the Duke Institute for Genome Sciences & Policy, with which the new institute will also be administratively aligned. In addition, Roses is a senior scholar with the health sector management program at Duke University's Fuqua School of Business.

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