Georg Wondrak, PhD, earns inaugural Director’s Challenge Award

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Georg Wondrak, PhD, received the UA Cancer Center Director’s Challenge Award for Therapeutic Development. This inaugural award of $75,000 is presented for the development of a novel therapeutic with high potential for clinical translation.

Dr. Wondrak is a member of the UACC’s Therapeutic Development Program and an Associate Professor in the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology.

Dr. Wondrak’s project involves experimental intervention to block certain adaptations of drug-resistant melanoma cells. His project, titled “Autophagy-directed Anti-melanoma Intervention Using Amodiaquine,” will look into the ways that antimalarial amodiaquine (AQ) could develop into a promising potential treatment against these malignant melanoma cells.

Dr. Wondrak’s project was selected among a field of 13 submissions, with a six-member committee making the final decision.

“There were several excellent applications,” said committee chair Robert Dorr, PhD, head of the UACC’s Therapeutic Development Program. “We hope to make this a yearly event at the University of Arizona Cancer Center. Thus, there should be more opportunities for funding similar therapeutic development projects in the future.”

-March 11, 2015