The Drug Discovery Center was founded in 2006 by

Prof. Dr. H. Irth, Bioanalytical Chemistry, VU,
Prof. Dr. R. Leurs, Medicinal Chemistry, VU,
Prof. Dr. A.B. Smit, Molecular and Cellular Neurobiology, VU.

Hubertus Irth obtained his M.Sc. degree in Environmental Technology at the Technical University of Berlin (Germany). In 1989 he received his PhD in Analytical Chemistry at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (The Netherlands). After a post-doc stay at the Chemical Center of Lund University (Sweden), he became assistant professor at the Leiden/Amsterdam Center for Drug Research (Leiden, The Netherlands) working on the implementation of biospecific interaction in analytical technologies. In 1997 he founded Kiadis BV (formerly Screentec BV), a spin-off company developing and commercializing novel drug discovery technologies. Since 1999 he is professor for Biomolecular Analysis at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and Chief Scientific Officer of Kiadis BV (Groningen, The Netherlands).

Rob Leurs is Professor of Medicinal Chemistry at the Faculty of Science of the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam. From 1982 to 1997 he was a Senior Scientist of the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences (KNAW). Since 2003 he is one of the two research directors of the Leiden/Amsterdam Center for Drug Research. For his work on G-protein coupled receptors he received the Galenus Research Prize, a Pfizer Academic Award and the Organon Prize for Pharmacology.

Guus Smit is Professor of Molecular Neurobiology at the Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences of the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam. He is co-director of the Institute for Neuroscience. His research is focused on synapse formation and molecular plasticity of synapses. In 2001 he determined (in close collaboration with Dr. Sixma, NKI) the structure of the ligand binding domain of an acetylcholine binding protein, which has become a worldwide accepted model for the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor.