Chemical biology is the creation and use of chemical entities that influence or probe biological systems. Its development as a distinct field of research is a direct result of the fact that biology and medicine have become predominantly “molecular” over the past 20 years. Now, chemical biology is the fundamental science underpinning the discovery of most new diagnostics and therapeutics. For example, four of the five top-selling drugs are “biologics,” and every pharmaceutical company is heavily investing in this area. Chemical biology also provides new molecular tools to study biological systems, enabling the discovery of new fundamental knowledge.
Chemical biology as a major focus is relatively new at Georgia Tech. However, we have an extraordinary density of customers for chemical biology here — researchers in both CoS and CoE (especially the strong biomedical engineering community) who use chemical biology tools or need better ones. At Georgia Tech, chemical biology therefore has a tremendous leveraged impact. Also, we nurture hopes and plans to establish Atlanta as the next major center for biomedical entrepreneurship. Strong chemical biology research capability at Georgia Tech will be very important to this effort.