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URMC / Clinical & Translational Science Institute / Stories / July 2018 / UR CTSI Regulatory Science Competition Winner Visits the FDA

UR CTSI Regulatory Science Competition Winner Visits the FDA

Xiaowen "Cindy" Wang poses with FDA officials and UR CTSI regulatory science leaders at the FDAIn April, the first-place winner of the UR CTSI’s 2018 America’s Got Regulatory Science Talent Competition gave her winning presentation to scientists and leaders at the Food and Drug Administration. Xiaowen (Cindy) Wang, M.S., proposed a drug repurposing database that could help identify new uses of FDA-approved drugs. 

Repurposing previously-approved drugs could speed up and reduce the cost of drug development, but drug repurposing data sets are not easy to access. Wang, a graduate student of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, proposed a drug repurposing database for the competition hoping it could promote new research directions, novel clinical trial designs and biomarker identification.

The database would house molecular and clinical data mined from public sources, including all FDA-approved drugs plus those under investigation for new uses. Investigators could also submit ongoing drug repurposing studies via a self-report portal.

The database would use predictive analytics to analyze and classify drugs based on their chemical structures and the signaling pathways they affect. Promising repurposing candidates for a given use could be identified by comparing against drugs with shared chemical characteristics and drug targets.

America’s Got Regulatory Science Talent

The America’s Got Regulatory Science Talent Competition, led by Scott Steele, Ph.D., director of Regulatory Science Programs, and Joan Adamo, Ph.D., director of the Office of Regulatory Support, is part of an initiative to increase awareness and interest in regulatory science among young scientists.

Each year, students in local competitions at the UR CTSI and the University of Maryland’s Center of Excellence in Regulatory Science Innovation vie for the chance to present their ideas at the FDA. In the spring, local competition winners address key players at the FDA, presenting their winning ideas on how to overcome a set of regulatory science challenges or address a regulatory science area that the FDA has indicated is a top priority.

During her visit, Wang participated in meetings tailored to her interests, toured the FDA’s research facilities and engaged with relevant FDA leaders and scientists.Her visit was sponsored by the Office of Regulatory Science and Innovation in the Office of the Chief Scientist at the FDA.

Michael Hazard | 7/3/2018

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