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Drug Design and Development Section

Nigel H. Greig, Ph.D., Chief

The Drug Design and Development Section (DDDS) is focused to identify drugs that improve brain function and/or forestall the neurodegenerative process in age-related neurodegenerative disorders. Data arising from studies on neurodegenerative and neuroprotective signaling pathways are used to identify potential drug targets. Candidate drugs are designed and synthesized and then screened for efficacy in cell culture and animal models, and the most effective compounds are moved through preclinical studies to clinical trials. Several novel as well as re-positioned drugs that mitigate neurodegenerative processes are currently in clinical trials, and novel compounds to dampen neuroinflammatory cascades involved in acute and chronic neurodegenerative disorders are at various preclinical stages of development.

Portfolio/Research Areas

  • Medicinal Chemistry/Molecular & In vivo Pharmacology/Toxicology/Translational Research into Humans

Findings and Publications

Hsueh SC, Luo W, Tweedie D, Kim DS, Kim YK, Hwang I, Gil JE, Han BS, Chiang YH, Selman W, Hoffer BJ, Greig NH. -Adamantyl phthalimidine: a new thalidomide-like drug that lacks cereblon binding and mitigates neuronal and synaptic loss, neuroinflammation, and behavioral deficits in traumatic brain injury and LPS challenge. ACS Pharmacol Transl Sci. 4:980-1000, 2021.

Lin CT, Lecca D, Yang LY, Luo W, Scerba MT, Tweedie D, Huang PS, Jung YJ, Kim DS, Yang CH, Hoffer BJ, Wang JY, Greig NH. 3,6'-dithiopomalidomide reduces neural loss, inflammation, behavioral deficits in brain injury and microglial activation.Elife. 9:e54726, 2020. 

Glotfelty EJ, Olson L, Karlsson TE, Li Y, Greig NH. Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1)-based receptor agonists as a treatment for Parkinson's disease. Expert Opin Investig Drugs. 29:595-602, 2020.

Greig NH, Lecca D, Hsueh SC, Nogueras-Ortiz C, Kapogiannis D, Tweedie D, Glotfelty EJ, Becker RE, Chiang YH, Hoffer BJ. (-)-Phenserine tartrate (PhenT) as a treatment for traumatic brain injury.CNS Neurosci Ther. 26:636-649, 2020. 

Athauda D, Maclagan K, Skene SS, Bajwa-Joseph M, Letchford D, Chowdhury K, Hibbert S, Budnik N, Zampedri L, Dickson J, Li Y, Aviles-Olmos I, Warner TT, Limousin P, Lees AJ, Greig NH, Tebbs S, Foltynie T. Exenatide once weekly versus placebo in Parkinson's disease: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Lancet. 390:1664-1675, 2017.

For additional publications on  PubMed or on Scopus