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Now Available: Innovators Under 35 2013 See The 2013 List »

Paul Hergenrother, 33

Discovering drugs that defy convention

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Paul Hergenrother is a chemist who takes on huge, unsolved medical problems: antibiotic resistance, cancer, and neurodegenerative disease. His small-molecule compounds bind tightly to unconventional disease-related targets, deactivating them. For example, Hergenrother found compounds that eliminate plasmids, the DNA rings that deadly bacteria use to spread antibiotic resistance. That pioneering project led him to a general method for finding drugs that target a particular type of RNA -- messenger RNA -- as a way to silence disease-causing genes, something standard drugs cant do. Hergenrothers "ten-year vision" could lead to treatments for Alzheimers and Parkinsons.

2005 TR35 Winners

Thijn Brummelkamp

Silencing the genes that cause cancer

Martha Bulyk

Discovering how genes are regulated

Matthew DeLisa

Delivering more medicine from microbes

Kevin Eggan

Using cloning to study degenerative diseases

Paul Hergenrother

Discovering drugs that defy convention

Trey Ideker

Defining and advancing systems biology

Hang Lu

Designing microfluidic chips to study cells

Melissa Mahoney

Making materials to treat brain damage

Daniel Riskin

Developing devices for wound closure and early heart-attack intervention.

Shiladitya Sengupta

Delivering drugs to cancer cells

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