Our PhD graduate Aaron Cabral to pursue career in drug discovery


iAaron Cabral will earn his PhD in chemistry from the Unversity of Toronto’s Faculty of Arts & Science this week after focusing his research on developing new diagnostic methods for drug discovery research in oncology and neurodegenerative diseases.

Under the supervision of Patrick Gunning, a professor in U of T Mississauga’s department of chemical and physical sciences, Cabral also worked on a platform for chemically “tuning” drugs to improve their stability and selectivity.

The research helped Cabral rescue a previously failed clinical drug candidate for treatment-resistant cancers and patent technology that led to the creation of Dunad Therapeutics.

Cabral recently delivered a speedy overview of his work in U of T’s annual Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition, in which graduate students present their research to non-specialist judges in just three minutes. He took third place.

He says the contest’s online format, necessary due to COVID-19, was interactive and allowed more people to watch the event. “I even had family members watch and cheer me on from their homes during the finals,” he says.

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