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The Institute for Drug Resistance (IDR) supports the mission of UMass Medical School in advancing the health and well-being of the people of the commonwealth and the world through pioneering advances in education, research and health care. IDR is dedicated to serving UMass, the commonwealth, scientific community and the public in identifying novel and effective approaches to combatting drug resistance in human diseases.

Drug resistance is a major obstacle in modern medicine, negatively impacting the lives of millions of patients and costing our society billions of dollars each year. In many cases resistance to drugs develops so rapidly that our most valuable drugs become obsolete shortly after their introduction.

Therapy for numerous diseases have been significantly impacted by the appearance and spread of drug resistance; resistance occurs to antimicrobial (MRSA and TB), anti-viral (HIV, HCV, and influenza), antimalarial, anti-fungal and anti-cancer (melanoma, breast cancer, and lung cancer) agents frequently leading to treatment failure. Close parallels can be drawn between the occurrence and spread of drug resistance seen in one disease state and that seen within another. However, until now, the study of drug resistance has been very much a disease-specific endeavor.

Clinicians and researchers are often unaware of the progress, resources and parallels in other areas of disease research, which could allow for a better understanding of resistance and result in real clinical benefits. There is no centralized cross-disciplinary network in the world, limiting intellectual progress and breakthroughs.

The Institute for Drug Resistance was created to pursue comprehensive scientific and clinical solutions to address the critical challenge of drug resistance by putting drug resistance first in drug design and therapeutic strategies. The Institute is realizing this goal by fostering an interdisciplinary community of researchers and clinicians, facilitating synergistic collaborations and thus leveraging diverse expertise to discover parallels of quickly evolving diseases.

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