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Public Lecture: Drugging an Undruggable Target — with Dr Nick Tonks

A scientific journey from discovery research to a clinical trial.

Hear a veteran research scientist take us on a personal journey that begins with his discovery 25 years ago of a key enzyme involved in cell signaling. Although it was clear that the enzyme, called PTP1B, was a potentially powerful target for new drugs to treat human diseases, Dr. Tonks was discouraged from pursuing this line of work by major pharmaceutical firms, which pronounced PTP1B “undruggable” — an impossible target to hit.

Today, several PTP1B-inhibiting drugs based on molecules Tonks designed are in development to treat diabetes, obesity, and breast cancer. It’s an inspiring story of perseverance and the power and promise of basic research.

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