About CD4


The Center for Drug Discovery, Design and Delivery (CD4) at Southern Methodist University's Dedman College of the Humanities and Sciences is a novel multi-disciplinary focus for scientific research targeting medically important problems in human health. Using innovative approaches, CD4’s mission is to potentiate the development of new therapeutics, their delivery methods as well as the translation of these new therapeutics to clinical studies. Training new generations of biomedical researchers in state-of-the-art techniques completes the overall mission of the center.

The Center’s educational and research missions strongly complement the University’s Quality Enhancement Program. Independent research opportunities for Engaged Learning projects for students in the laboratories of the Center’s member faculty will strongly augment SMU’s newly designed Unbridled Learning: Engage Beyond the Classroom initiative. In addition, potential future educational certificate programs and minor degree programs will further support the Unbridled Learning initiative.

Center Rationale

Biomedical science is by definition multidisciplinary. The greatest progress in the biomedical field has been made through close interactions of researchers in the basic sciences with those in the more applied fields. SMU researchers in the Departments of Chemistry and Biological Sciences present an impressive cross-section of widely diverse disciplinary proficiencies – all with the goal of positively affecting human health problems using their individual know-how. Active research at SMU includes targeted drug discovery, rational molecular design, quantum chemical description of drug activity, novel delivery systems, small molecule synthesis, drug re-purposing and natural product discovery. This combined skill set will position SMU's researchers to vigorously and positively impact human health problems. SMU’s High Performance Computer Cluster and High Performance Computer Center moreover provide the CD4 with an extraordinary tool set that sets it apart from other Drug Discovery Centers in the Nation. The Center for Drug Discovery, Design and Delivery will facilitate the sharing of resources between the Departments of Biological Sciences and Chemistry. Graduate students of the Center will be formally trained in an interdisciplinary manner. The Center will enhance the scientific exchange for faculty, graduate and undergraduate students through interdisciplinary seminar series.

Center Goals

  • Synergistic interaction to increase research and grantsmanship potential for faculty and students through the cooperation and sharing of member laboratory skills, knowledge and capabilities.

  • Increase funding through funding mechanisms that are available to Centers but are not available to individual investigators or even teams of investigators.

  • Increase visibility for Dedman College to the external community.

  • Increase recruitment prospects for the pre-health professional and natural sciences and engineering students.

  • Increase revenue through positive recruitment balances and external Certificate programs tuitions.

  • More efficient utilization of existing faculty and physical plant assets in a defined translational environment. 

  • Future potential discoveries that may represent significant revenue sources for the University (patent and licensing royalties).

  • Educational opportunities that will positively impact undergraduate and graduate student recruitment to SMU as well as being attractive to area professionals.