What does Ohio State mean to new drug discovery?
Ching-Shih Chen, PhD, believes that cancer will be a manageable disease someday, rather than the second most common cause of death in the United States. “Someday people will die with cancer, not from cancer."
Professor Chen is the Lucius A. Wing Chair of Cancer Research and Therapy and Professor of Medicinal Chemistry, Internal Medicine, and Urology in the Ohio State College of Pharmacy. He has led his lab in the discovery of two cancerfighting agents that are currently in clinical trial. He credits this achievement to the collaborative relationship between the college and The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center (OSUCCC). “This is very challenging work,” he says. “Without the support from the leadership and my colleagues, it’s beyond what a lab can accomplish alone.”
This collaboration allows newly discovered drugs to go from bench to clinic. Basic scientists work with oncologists and hematologists to discover and test cancer-fighting and cancer-preventing agents—an approach, Professor Chen says, that puts patients first. “The clinicians and I share the same passion: How do we help patients?”
While for-profit pharmaceutical companies are reducing efforts in basic drug discovery research, Professor Chen believes it’s time for academic institutions to fill the void. “We don’t consider the importance of our product in financial terms. Our consideration is helping a patient get well. We pursue science for the benefit of others.”