• Biochemistry Image
    Highly localized delivery of therapeutic agents, reducing side effects...
  • Biochemistry Image
    Tiny terminators, capable of launching therapeutic agents...
  • Biochemistry Image
    Photophysically distinct sensors - multiple enzymatic monitoring...
  • Biochemistry Image
    Light-responsive proteins control different cellular behaviors...
  • Biochemistry Image
    Chemical probes predict optimal treatment for cancer patients...

Light Activated Drugs

Light has been used, in conjunction with light-responsive agents, to control the biochemistry of cells, manipulate the behavior of organisms, and treat diseases such as cancer. We have designed a host of light-responsive sensors, inhibitors...

Read More

Cellular Cyborgs

A typical human brain contains a hundred trillion synapses, which is three orders of magnitude larger than the hundred billion galaxies in the observable universe. This complexity represents one of the many challenges...

Read More

Multicolor Monitoring

More than 150,000 people will be diagnosed with a hematological malignancy, for example leukemia, this year, joining the greater than 1,000,000 people living in the United States with these diseases. Although there has been significant...

Read More

Optogenetic Tools

The ability to control the biochemistry and behavior of cells and organisms with a flash of light has elicited widespread attention, especially in the area of neurological diseases. Switching on the activity of a specific protein in a...

Read More

Personalized Pharmacology

One of the most compelling issues in preclinical and clinical drug discovery is the ability to accurately monitor drug action and patient responsiveness. For example, the heterogeneity of breast cancers requires that we create a means by...

Read More


Professor David Lawrence

David Lawrence, Ph.D.

David Lawrence works to understand the biochemical processes of the cell by studying them as they happen in the cell as opposed to studying them in vitro. He currently focuses on applying his discoveries to cancer detection and treatment and, to a more limited extent, inflammatory diseases.

Lawrence is a Fred Eshelman Distinguished Professor of Medicinal Chemistry and holds joint appointments in the Department of Chemistry and the Department of Pharmacology and is a member of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Before joining the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2007, Lawrence spent eleven years as a professor of biochemistry at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Yeshiva University in New York. Before that, he was at the State University of New York at Buffalo for ten years.

Meet Our Team