David S. Lawrence

David Lawrence, PhD, is a UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center member and Fred Eshelman Distinguished Professor of Pharmacy in the Division of Medicinal Chemistry & Natural Products, School of Pharmacy & Department of Chemistry at UNC-Chapel Hill.

PhD
Fred Eshelman Distinguished Professor
UNC-Chapel Hill
Molecular Therapeutics

Area of interest

The Lawrence research program is multifaceted; encompassing the fields of organic and peptide synthesis, photochemistry, enzymology, cell and molecular biology, and microscopy. The research group’s expertise lies in the design, synthesis, characterization, and application of light-responsive agents, including sensors, inhibitors, activators, proteins, gene-expression, and drug delivery systems. The technology developed for the latter, in particular, is notable since drug photo-release is easily tuned to any wavelength in the visible and near IR, enabling multiple drugs to be either simultaneously or sequentially discharged from cell-based carriers. Photoresponsive agents in the Lawrence Lab have been used to probe, perturb, and reengineer biological systems, with applications to breast and brain cancers. In the area of education, Professor Lawrence has developed first-in-their-kind virtual laboratory experiences for the laptop and the Oculus Go VR (virtual reality) headset with an emphasis on laboratory safety.

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