Zhiqiang An, PhD, has been named UTHealth Houston’s first vice president of drug discovery. In this new role, An will work in close collaboration with researchers across campus, as well as the Office of Technology Management, Academic and Faculty Affairs, and the Office of the President to promote drug discovery and therapeutic innovation.
When the COVID pandemic hit, the Texas Therapeutics Institute sprung into action to develop therapies for patients suffering from the virus. Not only have they developed drugs to help fight COVID, but they are also developing neurological drugs to help combat diseases like Alzheimer’s.
Our group focuses on antibody drug resistance mechanisms, biomarkers for therapeutic antibodies, antibody response to viral infection and vaccination, antibody drug discovery targeting human diseases, and therapeutic antibody drug discovery technologies and platforms. During the last ten years, our group and collaborators published over 150 publications in highly competitive journals such as Nature, Nature Communications, Cell Metabolism, Science Advances, Journal of Immunotherapy of Cancer, PNAS, Clinical Cancer Research, Cancer Research, Cancer Immunology Research, Cell Reports, eLife and others. On the translational side, we have advanced 5 first-in-class drug candidates into clinical trials for diseases ranging from acute myeloid leukemia (IO-202), breast cancer bone metastasis (ALMB-0168), solid tumor (IO-108), spinal cord injury (ALMB-0166), and COVID-19 (IGM6268). Five other drug candidates are in preclinical development including PRTH-101 which pioneers a foundational concept of blocking T-cell exclusion in the tumor microenvironment for cancer therapy.