Small Molecule Chemistry Cores

The Developmental Therapeutics Core (DTC) is under the umbrella of the Center of the Developmental Therapeutics (CDT). The Center of the Developmental Therapeutics was established to rapidly and efficiently advance novel therapeutic interventions from basic research to the clinic. The CDT is one of the first academic-based drug development centers that bridges all aspects of translational research in a single entity including early drug discovery, mechanistic research, pre-clinical development and translation into the clinic. The Mission of Center encompasses the following tenets:

  • To fill the void left in late discovery and early drug development by pharma and biotech by advancing academic therapeutic projects to the clinic. Projects continue to be supported and de-risked by NIH commitment and peer review. NIH and other sources of funding are evolving to focus on translation and deliverables and the CDT is positioned to be a leader in developing a new model of academic drug translation.
  • To build a NU drug translation pipeline off of core academic strengths at NU including:
    • Basic science strengths
    • Therapeutic area strengths
    • Unique centers and cores
    • Early clinical development interests
  • To provide an operational vehicle for translational projects. Our approach is proactive and we will work side by side with investigators to advance their ideas to the clinic and toward commercialization. The CDT provides a single portal of entry into the drug development process regardless of the stage or source of a project. We will work with internal or external translational projects of interest to Northwestern investigators; assist with virtual company and spin-out formation; and pharma and biotechnology interactions. This will be accomplished by accessing existing university resources (e.g. Cores, Centers) using a matrix approach and establishing new university resources as necessary to fill gaps. For example, the Developmental Therapeutics Core (DTC, formerly known as the Tumor Biology Core) was set up to carry out animal disease models and early drug development functions.
  • To work across NU with the Chemistry of Life Processes Institute (CLP) and the Innovation and New Venture Office (INVO) to identify and enter into partnerships with investors and pharma and to proactively identify and advance projects from the pre-IP space into the community.

The Clean Catalysis (CleanCat) Core at Northwestern University is dedicated to aiding investigators in the advancement of understanding the catalytic function of materials for environmental and energy processes. We provide students with the necessary tools for testing the catalytic properties of materials and obtaining insight into reaction mechanisms occurring on surfaces. Not only do we provide the neccessary equipment for these studies, but also the guidance of an experienced lab manager who takes a hands-on-approach to educating students about experimental design and proper technique so they become experts themselves. We don't merely train students to use equipment, we teach students how to collect data that answers their research questions.

For more information about this facility, click here. 


The High Throughput Analysis Laboratory (HTAL) provides academic, industrial, and private researchers with equipment and expertise for the development and execution of high throughput biological analysis and screening. The facility is fully equipped with state-of-the-art liquid handling, plate detection and automated microbial culture handling capabilities. For more information about this facility, click here.


The Integrated Molecular Structure Education and Research Center (IMSERC) facility performs a full range of chemical analyses. Such analyses include qualitative composition determination, quantitative analysis, and molecular structure determination.  The most commonly used techniques are NMR spectroscopy, mass spectrometry, optical spectroscopy, trace metals analysis and single crystal X-Ray crystallography. For more information about this facility, click here.

The mission of the Mary Beth Donnelley Clinical Pharmacology Core Facility is to provide state-of-the-art clinical pharmacologic support to Northwestern University investigators as an integral part of bench-to-bedside drug development.  The Clinical Pharmacology Core provides pharmacokinetic support for preclinical and clinical studies of cancer chemotherapeutic agents, analgesics, and other small molecules.  Expertise includes optimizing the design, conduct, analysis, interpretation, and reportage of pharmacokinetic studies.  Small molecule concentrations in plasma and other body fluids are measured using an Agilent HPLC system linked to an Applied Biosystems API 3000 triple quadrupole mass spectrometer.  Drug concentration histories are fitted to various compartmental pharmacokinetic models using commercially available and specialized software. For more information about this facility, click here.


The Medicinal and Synthetic Chemistry Core (ChemCore) provides synthetic chemistry, medicinal chemistry and computational chemistry and molecular modeling services. For more information about this facility, click here.