About DDI - University of Houston
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About DDI

The UH Drug Discovery Institute will define a new paradigm in academic drug discovery through multi-disciplinary collaborations that go beyond the life and physical sciences to include other disciplines such as engineering, computer science, mathematics, optometry, and many others. This multidisciplinary team will integrate new technologies, including but not limited to AI, to streamline and augment existing and emerging efforts to modernize the drug-discovery process.  

To address the unmet needs of current drug discovery academic centers, the DDI will integrate AI as one of its driving forces to develop new therapeutics. Since current drug-discovery efforts at UH are largely fragmented, the DDI will bring together relevant experts under one roof to provide new resources and to facilitate synergistic research. The DDI will be an inclusive institute, welcoming faculty participants from all colleges who wish to collaborate and advance drug development. 

To encourage both new collaborations and research initiative, the DDI will provide seed grant support for interdependent drug-discovery projects. New educational programs will provide students with a unique and broad skillset for drug discovery. The students will be exposed to disciplines ranging across engineering and physical sciences, pharmacy and biological sciences, computational and social sciences, law, business, optometry, education, and more.  

The breadth of this initiative will establish the Institute and the University among the national leaders in drug discovery and become one of the first to fully embrace AI into its academic drug discovery programs.  


Head shot of Ruiwen Zhang
Ruiwen Zhang
Professor, Pharmacological & Pharmaceutical Sciences

Steering Committee

Headshot of Scott Gilbertson
Scott Gilberton
Professor, Chemistry
Head shot of Tahir Hussain
Tahir Hussain
Professor, Pharmacology
Head shot of Therese Kosten
Therese Kosten
Professor, Psychology
Head shot of Chandra Mohan
Chandra Mohan
Professor, Biomedical Engineering

Head shot of Vijay Raghunathan
Vijay Raghunathan
Assistant Professor, Optometry
Head shot of Michelle Carroll Turpin
Michelle Carroll Turpin
Clinical Assistant Professor, Biomedical Sciences
Head shot of Richard Willson
Richard Wilson
Professor, Chemical Engineering
Head shot of Shaun Zhang
Shaun Zhang
Professor, Center for Nuclear Receptors and Cell Signaling