The Chancellor’s Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill named Shelton Earp, MD, as the Inventor of the Year during its 12th Annual Celebration of Inventorship on May 3.
Earp is director of UNC Cancer Care and a member of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, where he was director from 1997-2014, and continues to serve as senior advisor to the director. In addition, he is a professor of pharmacology and medicine and a Lineberger Professor of Cancer Research.
He was honored for his significant achievements over time as an innovator and his dedication to innovation in service to cancer patients, his fellow faculty and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Earp’s research largely has focused on signaling genes in the cancer cell and the immune system studying arrange of cancers including breast and prostate cancer, as well as and leukemia. In 2013, Earp founded Meryx Inc., together with Stephen Frye, PhD, a UNC Lineberger member and the Fred Eshelman Distinguished Professor in the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy, and Douglas Graham, MD, PhD, a former member of Earp’s lab, to develop orally bio-available cancer drugs targeting receptor tyrosine kinases, the genes that his lab identified and studies. Their work demonstrates the potential of these new drugs to both inhibit tumor growth and initiate anti-tumor immunity in a wide range of cancers, including leukemia, lung cancer and melanoma.
“I am grateful for recognition as it puts the spotlight on an important field of research, it honors the achievements of my many wonderful colleagues, and it underscores the University of North Carolina’s commitment to converting discovery into a public benefit,” said Earp.