Celebrate Princeton Invention: John Groves

John Groves

The HepatoChem process developed in the lab of Jay Groves mimics the function of the liver to enable thorough biochemical analysis of drug compounds at many times the speed of standard techniques. (Photo: Brian Wilson)

Name: John Groves, the Hugh Stott Taylor Chair of Chemistry


What it does:
Mimicking the way the liver works, this process enables the automated and rapid biochemical analysis of drug compounds -- many times faster than traditional lab methods -- helping to speed the scientific discovery of new drugs and drug metabolites.

Inspiration: Groves and his collaborators have been developing the HepatoChem process for some 25 years, but the potential for use in drug discovery and screening came to the forefront around 18 months ago when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an advisory calling for detailed analysis of new drug prospects much earlier in development than ever before. This requirement dramatically increased the number of compounds that must be tested, making it completely unfeasible to conduct all of the analyses using standard methods.

Marc Bazin, visiting associate professional specialist in the Department of Chemistry

Commercialization status: HepatoChem, a company founded in 2008, is using Groves' patented process to screen potential drugs for pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.

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