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The University of Michigan’s Center for the Discovery of New Medicines has appointed Vincent Groppi as its new director.

Among its many functions, the CDNM supports early stage, innovative drug discovery research projects and also hosts a series of drug lectures while connecting university research to the drug industry.

"Vince brings to the CDNM a deep background in drug discovery, with formidable industry knowledge as well as academic experience," said Alan Saltiel, the Mary Sue Coleman Director of the Life Sciences Institute. "He understands that labs in universities, rather than drug companies, are discovering more and more of the truly innovative new medicines that will transform human health."

Groppi — who holds a doctorate from the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and served as an assistant professor at the University of California, San Francisco — was most recently the vice president and chief scientific officer of Essen BioScience.

He has also taught pharmacology at U-M and also serves on the school’s Protein Folding Disease Initiative.

"The University of Michigan is poised to be a national leader in academic drug discovery, and I'm very excited to see the breadth and depth of expertise, experience and technology reach its full potential," said Groppi, who is also the director of the Center for Chemical Genomics.

Previously, he held positions at Upjohn, Pharmacia and Pfizer, leading discovery, development and strategy teams. He also co-founded Oricula Therapeutics, a biotechnology company that is advancing a clinical candidate to treat hearing loss.

"I'm eager to help academic researchers bridge the gap between their labs and the commercial world in order to bring new drugs to market — and to patients who need them," Groppi said. "We'll be working hard to connect the bench and the bedside."

TGreenwood@detroitnews.com

(313) 222-2023

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