Lab Canada

New drug discoveries the focus of new NSERC/Merck-Frosst research chair

Toronto, ON October 6, 2003 The NSERC/Merck-Frosst industrial research chair in new medicinal agents via catalytic reactions was recently announced today at the University of Toronto by Janet Walden, NSERC’s vice-president, research partnerships programs directorate. The chair’s research is focused on discovering new drugs and better strategies for their manufacture. The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) is providing C$875,000 over five years. Merck-Frosst Canada will be providing $1 million over the same period.

“Our research will be exploring and developing exciting new compounds inspired by those found in plants with medicinal properties,” said Dr Mark Lautens, the new chairholder. “However, these compounds, many of which will include completely new molecules, will be designed to safely and efficiently perform very complex, therapeutic tasks.”

Dr Kathleen Metters, vice-president and head of research at the Merck Frosst Centre for Therapeutic Research: “Providing an environment for the highest quality training of young scientists, especially in chemistry, will be important for the development of the talent pool so critical to our future success at Merck Frosst, and to the health science sector in Canada as a whole,” said Dr Metters. “The laboratory of Professor Lautens is one of the best in Canada for such training and we are proud to partner with NSERC, the University of Toronto and Dr Lautens in this effort.”