Dr. Gunda Georg, Regents Professor and Founding Director of the Institute for Therapeutics Discovery and Development at the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy, to speak March 15 at 2023 Chu Lectureship.
Athens, Ga. – Dr. Gunda Georg, Regents Professor and Founding Director of the Institute for Therapeutics Discovery and Development at the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy, will be the featured speaker at the annual University of Georgia College of Pharmacy Chu Lectureship on Wednesday, March 15 at 9 am in the College’s David and Jane Chu Auditorium (Pharmacy South, Room 101).
The lecture, titled “The Male Pill: Are We There Yet?,” will focus on the discovery and development of the non-hormonal male contraceptive agent YCT529, a drug which acts as a potent and selective antagonist at the retinoic acid receptor alpha. Studies on mice indicated a 99 percent reduction in sperm production. Development is underway to prepare YCT529 for early-stage human clinical trials as a potential male contraceptive.
According to Dr. Georg, “The objective of our research is to provide couples with additional safe and reversible options for contraception. The development of non-hormonal contraceptives for both men and women is highly desirable to assist with family planning and reducing unintended pregnancies. My presentation will focus on the discovery and development of YCT529, including the preclinical efficacy in mouse and non-human primates.”
Dr. Georg began her career in 1984 as a faculty member in the University of Kansas Department of Medicinal Chemistry. In 2007, she joined the University of Minnesota, where she has served in various leadership capacities throughout her tenure. Her research focuses on the design, synthesis, and evaluation of biologically active agents, and her major therapeutic areas currently are focused on cancer and male contraception.
Dr. Georg is actively involved in the American Chemical Society (ACS) and the American Association of the Advancement of Science (AAAS). This year, she was elected as Chair of the ACS Division of Medicinal Chemistry. She also served as the Editor-In-Chief of ACS’s Journal of Medicinal Chemistry from 2012-2020. In 2017, Dr. Georg was elected into the ACS’s Medicinal Chemistry Hall of Fame, and she received the Alfred Burger Award in Medicinal Chemistry from the ACS in 2020. She also has served as a grant reviewer for the AAAS, several National Institutes of Health study sections, and various foundations and universities.
In addition to her copious achievements and co-inventorship of YCT259, Dr. Georg also is the co-inventor of Minnelide TM, currently under multiple clinical trials; Lusedra®, an anesthetic; and the glaucoma drug QLS-101, which is in phase I/II clinical trials. Dr. Georg’s work has been described in 260 publications.
“Dr. Georg is one of the top medicinal chemists in the world,” remarked Dr. Michael Bartlett, who serves as the College’s University Professor and Associate Dean for Science Education, Research and Technology and was the founder of the Chu Lectureship. “We are honored that she has agreed to speak with us about her latest efforts in drug discovery.”
The College of Pharmacy’s Chu Lectureship honors the outstanding accomplishments of Distinguished Research Professor and Professor Emeritus Dr. David Chu, who has spent his career researching new drugs for the treatment of viral infections and cancer. Immediately following Dr. Georg’s presentation and a follow-up question and answer period, Dr. Chu will be introduced to participants. A reception will immediately follow the program.