Located in the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (SSPPS) on the main campus of the University of California San Diego, the CDIPD is an academic research and education organization focused on the discovery and development of small molecule therapeutics for neglected infectious diseases associated with poverty. As detailed by the World Health Organization, these diseases disproportionally affect the poor and disenfranchised of more than one billion people, for whom the development of new drugs has been traditionally lacking due to the absence of a profit motive. Our mission addresses this gap by identifying and validating potential drug targets, and preclinically advancing specific small molecules that interfere with the function of those targets. With core expertise in pathogen biology, enzymology and medicinal chemistry, and its unique ability to operate in vitro and in vivo bioassays for multiple infectious disease pathogens, our Center’s commitment to advancing new drugs is enhanced by its ethos of developing and maintaining inter-disciplinary collaborations with world-class scientists at the SSPPS and the wider UC San Diego campus. We also collaborate with the robust biotech and pharmaceutical industry ecosystem in San Diego County to identify potential drugs. Last, we collaborate with non-profit drug development organizations and academic partners worldwide, particularly in Africa and South America, to identify and advance synthetic and natural product chemistries as potential drugs.  

Apart from our research regarding drug discovery, we use every opportunity to advocate for research into neglected diseases of poverty through outreach and education. As part of the UC San Diego community, Center members also contribute to undergraduate and graduate student training via didactic courses, workshops and hands-on training, which includes an emphasis on diversity by mentoring to underrepresented, first-generation college students, including effective preparation for graduate studies. Finally, we devote significant effort to the capacity-building training of scientists at all stages of their careers from low- and middle-income countries so that they may translate their new skills to their home institutions, and, in turn, enhance awareness, education and research regarding neglected diseases.