Category: Recent News
Innovations in Neuroscience Drug Discovery
Friday, November 16th 2018, 8:00 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.
BU Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics – Biogen Symposium
Biogen, 300 Binney Street, Cambridge, MA 02142
Free and open to the public.
Registration has now closed. There is no onsite registration.
Registration and Breakfast
David H. Farb, Ph.D., Boston University: Academia-Industry Alliances: Catalyzing Discovery Science
Anabella Villalobos, Ph.D., Biogen: Biogen Opening Remarks
Session 1: Harnessing Cutting-Edge Technology to Enable Drug Discovery
Georgios Skiniotis, Ph.D., Stanford University: CryoEM Insights into GPCR Activation and Signaling
Anthony W. P. Fitzpatrick, Ph.D., Columbia University: Untangling Neurodegenerative Diseases Using Patient-Based Structural Biology
Shelley J. Russek, Ph.D., Boston University: JAK/STATs and the Brain: a Pharmacological Window on the BDNF Transcriptome of Neurological Disease
Hongkui Zeng, Ph.D., Allen Institute for Brain Science: Cell Type Classification and Circuit Mapping in the Brain: Mapping a Path to Discovery
Xue Han, Ph.D., Boston University: Optical Analysis of Biological Neural Networks Across Scales
Session 2: Neuroinflammation at the Nexus of CNS Diseases
Anirvan Ghosh, Ph.D., Biogen: Introductory Remarks
Staci Bilbo, Ph.D., MGH/Harvard Medical School: Neuroimmune Interactions in Development: Implications for Health Throughout the Lifespan
Dorothy P. Schafer, Ph.D., UMASS Medical Center: Microglial Phagocytic Mechanisms Governing Brain Plasticity in Health and Disease
Tsuneya Ikezu, M.D., Ph.D., Boston University: Proteomic and Neuropathological Characterization of Extracellular Vesicles in Alzheimer’s Disease
Benjamin Wolozin, M.D., Ph.D., Boston University: Membrane-Less Organelles and RNA Binding Proteins as Targets for Therapy of Neurodegenerative Diseases
Session 3: Pharmacology, Models and Biomarkers: Bench to Bedside
Leonard Petrucelli, Ph.D., Mayo Clinic-Jacksonville: Therapeutic Insights into Repeat Expansion Disorders
Wendy Qiu, M.D., Ph.D., Boston University: Alzheimer’s Disease: The Brain Disease or the Peripheral System-Brain Axis Disease?
Thomas Kornecook, Ph.D., Biogen: Animal Models in Neuroscience Drug Discovery: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Himanshu Naik, Ph.D., Biogen: Application of Pharmacokinetic and Pharmacodynamic Modeling in Drug Development
David Waxman Receives The Bernard B. Brodie Award in Drug Metabolism for Research on Sex Differences in Drug Metabolism
David J. Waxman, Ph.D., Boston University Professor of Cell and Molecular Biology and Medicine, was awarded the Bernard B. Brodie Award in Drug Metabolism by the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET) at their 2018 annual meeting in San Diego, California. The award was presented to Dr. Waxman for his research on "Sex Differences in Drug Metabolism: From Steroids and P450s to Transcription Factors and Chromatin States."
The Bernard B. Brodie Award in Drug Metabolisum was established to honor the fundamental contributions of Bernard B. Brodie in the field of drug metabolism and disposition and is given every two years. The Award includes a $2000 honorarium, a commemorative medal and hotel and airfare to the award ceremony.
Congratulations to Dr. Waxman on receipt of the Bernard B. Brodie Award in recognition of his important research contributions.
Andrieu and Denis paper featured as Editor’s Pick/Cover Story in April 2018 Issue of Molecular Cancer Research
A paper by Boston University investigators, Guillaume Andrieu, Ph.D. and Gerald V. Denis, Ph.D., has been selected as the Cover Story and Editor’s Pick for Rapid Impact in the April 2018 Issue of Molecular Cancer Research. BET Proteins Exhibit Transcriptional Function Opposition in the Epithelial-to-Mesenchymal Transition reports on research carried out on inhibitors of the BET bromodomain proteins, comprised of BRD2, BRD3 and BRD4, that may work well to block growth in diverse cancer types and seems to be less toxic than traditional chemotherapies. However, these three proteins don’t always work together.
In this study, Andrieu and Denis demonstrated that sometimes individual BET bromodomain proteins oppose each other. Any of the pan-BET inhibitors currently available block all three and could have unexpected side effects. To avoid the dangerous side effects, it is urgent to develop new strategies to specifically target the proteins individually.
Cancer clinical trials using BET inhibitors are currently recruiting for leukemias, lymphoma, multiple myeloma, metastatic prostate cancer, lung cancer, glioblastoma and subtypes of breast cancer, including triple negative breast cancer. Andrieu’s and Denis’ findings are urgently relevant to all of these clinical trials because of the fundamental mechanisms that they explored are shared across many cancer types.
Dr. Andrieu is a postdoctoral research associate conducting investigations into breast cancer and its interactions with the microenvironment— the tissues surrounding the tumor. Dr. Denis is Associate Professor of Medicine and Pharmacology, whose research focuses on the fundamental mechanisms of transcriptional control of growth and development.
This study was supported by grants from the Cancer Systems Biology Consortium of the National Cancer Institute.
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Yoonjoo Lee and two additional students, Alissa Frame and Cassie Moore, receive NRSAs – Individual Predoctoral Fellowships
Yoonjoo Lee Awarded the Ruth L. Kirschstein NRSA Individual Pre-doctoral Fellowship from NEI (F30)
Yoonjoo Lee, an M.D./Ph.D. graduate student in the Program in Biomolecular Pharmacology, has been awarded a Ruth L. Kirschtein National Research Service Award pre-doctoral fellowship from the National Eye Institute. Her pre-doctoral research is on "The Role of Sustained Oscillations of the Wound Healing Response".
Alissa Frame Awarded the NRSA Pre-doctoral Fellowship from NIDDKD (F31)
Alissa Frame, an M.D./Ph.D. graduate student in the Program in Biomolecular Pharmacology, has been awarded a Ruth L. Kirschtein National Research Service Award pre-doctoral fellowship from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Her pre-doctoral research is on “Renal and Neural Mechanisms of Age-Related Hypertension.”
Alissa is carrying out her research in the Laboratory for Cardiovascular-Renal Research under the mentorship of Richard D. Wainford, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Pharmacology and Medicine, Section of Cardiovascular Medicine and member of the Whitaker Cardiovascular Institute.
Cassie Moore Awarded the Ruth L. Kirschstein NRSA Individual Pre-doctoral Fellowship from NIDA (F31)
Cassie Moore, a Ph.D. graduate student in the Program in Biomolecular Pharmacology/ Program in Neuroscience, has been awarded a Ruth L. Kirschtein National Research Service Award pre-doctoral fellowship from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Her pre-doctoral research is on “CRF Modulation of Reward Function in Compulsive Eating.”
Cassie is carrying out her research in the Laboratory of Addictive Disorders under the mentorship of Pietro Cottone, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Pharmacology and Medicine, Section of Addictive Disorders.
1 May 2017 BU Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics – Pfizer Symposium: Emerging Technologies In Therapeutics
The BU Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics - Pfizer Symposium: Emerging Technologies in Therapeutics was held on Monday, 1 May 2017 in the Boston University Trustees Ballroom, 1 Silber Way, 9th Floor, on the Boston University Charles River Campus. This event, which is the result of a long-term training partnership between the Department of Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics and Pfizer.
Annina Leo, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow in the Laboratory of Molecular NeuroTherapeutics under the mentorship of Tsuneya Ikezu, M.D., Ph.D., was selected as one of two Boston University School of Medicine recipients of the 2016 Alzheimer’s Association Grant Award. Dr. Deleo’s research application on “Characterization of Human AD Brain-Derived Exosomes on Tau Propagation” focus on the question, “How do cellular transport pathways contribute to the movement of abnormal tau protein throughout the brain in Alzheimer’s disease.” Dr. Deleo will receive $175, 000 over 3 years to support her postdoctoral research.
Dr. David Farb was the featured speaker at a sold-out Science on Screen presentation of "Embrace of the Serpent" at the Coolidge Corner Theatre in Brookline. This stunning film is based on the real-life journals of Theodor Koch-Grünberg and Richard Evans Schultes and their quest through the Columbian Amazon for the sacred and rare Yakruna plant. The film focuses on their encounter with Karamakate, a shaman and the last survivor of his people, with whom they forge a profound friendship over 40 years and learn ancient lessons in the sacred and medicinal powers of plants.
As a neuropharmacologist, Dr. Farb's presentation focused on the use of plants, particularly hallucinogens, by shaman throughout history and how these "entheogens" were subsequently studied and at times even exploited following their discovery by western scientists in the 20th century.
Science on Screen is supported by a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation with additional support from Gesmer Updegrove LLP, Rubin Anders Scientific, and Ken Loveday and Ellen Hoffman, Brookline, and co-presented by the Museum of Science.
Tsuneya Ikezu, M.D, Ph.D., Professor of Pharmacology and Neurology, received the Inge Grundke-Iqbal Award for Alzheimer’s Research at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) in Toronto, Ontario, July 24-28, 2016 and is one of two Boston University faculty members to receive a grant from the BrightFocus Foundation. Dr. Ikezu, whose research focuses on molecular therapeutic intervention of neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric disorders, gave a plenary lecture at the conference.
The Inge Grundke-Iqbal Award for Alzheimer’s Research recognizes the senior author of the most impactful study on the biology of Alzheimer’s disease and related conditions published during the two calendar years preceding AAIC. The selected paper is “Depletion of microglia and inhibition of exosome synthesis halt tau propagation,” (Nature Neuroscience 2015 Nov;18(11):1584-93).
Dr. Inge Grundke-Iqbal, an internationally renowned neuroscientist, made a milestone discovery in the 1980's: that abnormal hyperphosphorylation microtubule-associated protein tau is the building block in paired helical filaments (PHFs)/neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs) in the Alzheimer's brain. This seminal discovery has contributed greatly to our overall understanding of neurodegeneration and led to major advances in Alzheimer's research.
The BrightFocus Foundation has awarded Dr. Ikezu $300,000 for his research on the TREM2 molecule to develop novel therapeutics for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. The BrightFocus grant award and Inge Grundke-Iqbal Award both attest to the fact that Dr. Ikezu's stellar work is pushing the boundaries of Alzheimer's research.
We congratulate Dr. Ikezu on being selected for the prestigious Inge Grundke-Iqbal Award for Alzheimer's Research and the BrightFocus grant award.
A new article published in Neuropsychopharmacology announces the discovery of a new therapeutic target to block binge eating by researchers in the Laboratory of Addictive Disorders (LAD). The research of Drs. Pietro Cottone and Valentina Sabino, directors and co-principal investigators of the LAD, is focused on unraveling the neurobiological mechanisms of motivated behaviors, such as drug addiction, stress-related disorders, and depression. The study provides new hope to approximately 15 million people who suffer from binge eating, obesity, and other eating disorders.