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University of Michigan Innovation Partnerships
University of Michigan Innovation Partnerships

U-M Professor Alison Narayan Named Novartis Institute for Biomedical Research (NIBR) Global Scholar


After U-M was selected to participate in the prestigious Novartis Institute for Biomedical Research (NIBR) Global Scholars Program, FY21 saw Innovation Partnerships work with faculty to submit over 40 proposals. U-M professor Alison Narayan was became an inaugural winner of the highly competitive award. The NIBR Global Scholars Program selected only six researchers globally as awardees from more than 700 proposals across 38 institutions.

Narayan is a Research Associate Professor in the U-M Life Sciences Institute, an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry at U-M LSA and CoDirector of the Michigan Life Sciences Fellows Program. As a NIBR Global Scholar, Narayan is eligible to receive up to $1 million in funding over three years and gains access to NIBR’s drug discovery and development expertise. Narayan harnesses naturally occurring enzymes to alter the structure and function of small molecules with a speed, precision, and sustainability not achievable with widely-used synthetic chemistry approaches. These attributes make Narayan’s system particularly valuable in drug discovery, where it can not only create thousands of versions of a lead small molecule drug in a single assay, but also enables immediate functional testing of those newly-created small molecules. This exciting new research collaboration with NIBR offers the opportunity to accelerate the important research in the Narayan Lab.<

“Thanks to the support and guidance I received from Innovation Partnerships – from creating an intellectual property strategy to finding synergies between my lab’s work and the NIBR team – the Narayan lab has a unique opportunity to collaborate with Novartis.”

– Alison Narayan, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry, U-M College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, Research Associate Professor, U-M Life Sciences Institute, Co-Director, Michigan Life Sciences Fellows Program