A central element of TDI’s mandate is the Sanders Innovation and Education Initiative. This initiative directly impacts all members of the Tri-Institutional research community. In an effort to educate the community in the process of drug discovery and development, we sponsor Schrödinger trainings, an entrepreneurship course, a medicinal chemistry course, and the Sanders seminar series.
Since October of 2014, TDI has hosted over 20 Schrödinger training sessions, both onsite and via webinar. These Schrödinger-led sessions include Introduction to Small Molecule Drug Discovery, Introduction to the Biologics Suite, Cheminformatics, Structure-Based Drug Design, Molecular Dynamics, PyMol, Homology Modeling, and Antibody Modeling.
Our monthly Sanders Seminar Series brings accomplished academic and industry researchers in the biomedical sciences to the Tri-Institutional community. Recently, the Sanders seminar series formally merged with the Tri-Institutional Chemical Biology Program and the Hunter College Chemical Biology seminar series. This merger has allowed us to attract the most influential practitioners of chemical biology and drug discovery in the world to speak in the Sanders seminar series.
The Drew University Residential School on Medicinal Chemistry and Biology in Drug Discovery is a week-long graduate level, accelerated program on the fundamentals of drug discovery, from initial target validation through clinical development. Class sessions are led by leaders in the field from major pharmaceutical companies. This class is offered via live-streaming on an annual basis.
Under the Sanders Initiative, TDI hosts an entrepreneurship class that is open to all members the Tri-I community. This class, “From Bench to Bedside: Business Fundamentals for Entrepreneurial Scientists,” teaches basic financial analysis and the principles of entrepreneurship. Lectures cover the process of evaluating the market potential of a technology, building basic financial models, funding mechanisms, and writing and presenting a business plan to potential investors. The mission of this class is to equip scientists in our community with the fundamental skills needed to translate their ideas into commercially accessible products that will ultimately benefit patients. The class culminates in an end-of-semester “Shark Tank” event, where students pitch business plan presentations to a panel of VC investors. The Bench to Bedside initiative has proven very popular, and resulted in the creation of several seed-funded biotech startups.