Director: Alexandros Makriyannis, George D. Behrakis Endowed Chair in Pharmaceutical Biotechnology
Buoyed by nearly $10 million in established grants, the center is dedicated to better-understanding drug mechanisms of action and developing new approaches and technologies aimed at improving the discovery of new therapeutic drugs. The main projects include drug design and synthesis, chemical/biochemical approaches for studying drug-receptor interactions and the role of membranes in drug action using biophysical methods. Additional work involves studying the effects of drug molecules on membranes using the solution and solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance and computational methods and using the results to design and synthesize improved medications.
The classes of drugs being studied include cannabinoids, steroids, and antineoplastic ether lipids. The work also includes studying the mechanism by which these molecules are transported across the blood-brain barrier. The center, working with the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, is developing an educational component centered on drug discovery. Founded in 2003.