Majumdar research highlighted by National Institute on Drug Abuse

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) recently highlighted two papers featuring Susruta Majumdar, PhD, and his colleagues. The Chemistry and Pharmacology Branch of the Division of Neuroscience and Behavior highlighted these articles.

Study targets kappa opioid receptor to develop more effective drugs for pain management (Links to an external site)

In a study published in Nature Communications in March 2023, researchers from the Center for Clinical Pharmacology unveil promising research in the development of more effective, less addictive, and safer pain management drugs.
In this study “Molecular mechanism of biased signaling at the kappa opioid receptor,” researchers closely examined the κ-opioid receptor (KOR), a molecule in the body that can be targeted by drugs to help manage pain and itch without causing addiction.

Majumdar Publishes Breakthrough Opioid Research in Nature (Links to an external site)

Groundbreaking research conducted by Susruta Majumdar, Ph.D., associate professor of medicinal chemistry and pharmacology at University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy in St. Louis, and his colleagues, has identified a method for modifying the chemical properties of the opioid pain reliever, fentanyl, and altering how it binds to opioid receptors on nerve cells.

Through studies conducted in cell lines expressing the opioid receptor and in mice, the modified version of fentanyl was found to be an effective pain reliever with fewer significant side effects. The research, which was recently published in the journal Nature, offers potential avenues for the creation of safer opioid medications.

Majumdar Featured in Nature Chemical Biology

The paper highlights the work of Susruta Majumdar, Ph.D., associate professor of medicinal chemistry and pharmacology at University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy in St. Louis, and his colleagues who examined the molecular differences between LFT and MP, and how they bind to MU opioid receptors.

Elgendy and Hegazy Receive $3.1 Million NIH Grant to Support Chronic Pain Research (Links to an external site)

Bahaa Elgendy, Ph.D., associate professor of medicinal chemistry at University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy in St. Louis and Lamees Hegazy, Ph.D., associate professor of computational and medicinal chemistry at UHSP, were the recent recipients of a $3.1 million grant from the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke to support research focused on the treatment of inflammatory pain.

The five-year grant will allow Elgendy and Hegazy, and their research collaborators, to further investigate the role of the REV-ERB nuclear receptors as a viable target for the treatment of inflammatory pain. Elgendy and Hegazy will leverage the known physiological functions of REV-ERB in chronic inflammation and use a chemical biology approach to identify novel REV-ERV ligands with superior pharmacological profiles, with the goal of advancing the potential therapy to clinical trials.

Al-Hasani Uncovers New Avenues to Treat Pain and Addiction (Links to an external site)

In 2017, Ream Al-Hasani, Ph.D., assistant professor of pharmaceutical science at University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy in St. Louis, and assistant professor of anesthesiology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, was recruited as one of the first researchers at the Center for Clinical Pharmacology. Since then, Al-Hasani and her center collaborators from the Department of Anesthesiology at the School of Medicine have been conducting groundbreaking research on the neurological effects of addiction and the brain’s response to pain or stress.
With much of her research focused on the kappa opioid receptor system and its potential to serve as a promising target for the non-addictive management of neuropsychiatric conditions, including pain, Al-Hasani has been engaged in a number of innovative projects, including her work to create new methods for measuring opioid peptides in living systems. Her efforts have resulted in the development of a reliable and reproducible process to allow other research labs to implement and benefit from this technique.

Hegazy Receives $580,000 NIH Grant to Support Diabetes Research

Lamees Hegazy, Ph.D., assistant professor of medicinal chemistry at University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy in St. Louis, was the recent recipient of a three-year, $581,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

Al-Hasani Awarded $2.1 Million NIH Grant (Links to an external site)

Ream Al-Hasani, Ph.D., assistant professor of pharmaceutical science at University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy in St. Louis, was the recent recipient of a five-year, $2.1 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to further her research on cold pain hypersensitivity.
Al-Hasani and her research team at the Center for Clinical Pharmacology have been studying the issue of cold hypersensitivity for several years. Utilizing their newly acquired NIH grant, the team will further examine the role of the kappa opioid system in cold hypersensitivity and cold pain.

Elgendy Publishes Article in Journal of Medicinal Chemistry Perspective Series

Bahaa Elgendy, Ph.D., assistant professor of medicinal chemistry at University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy in St. Louis, was the lead author of a recent article featured in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry’s Perspective series. The series provides a forum for recognized research experts to review and provide their input on active areas of research.

Scientists Develop Wireless-Networks that Allow Brain Circuits to Be Studied Remotely using the Internet (Links to an external site)

In a recent study published in Nature Biomedical Engineering on November 25, 2021, Jordan McCall, PhD, MPH, alongside Jae-Woong Jeong, PhD, at Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), and Sangtae Ha, PhD, at the University of Colorado, Boulder, have developed a method to remotely control brain circuits in multiple animals simultaneously and independently.
By creating a wireless network utilizing implantable devices and equipment integrated with Internet of Things (IoT) technology, scientists have enabled leading-edge, large-scale neuroscience experiments that can study the brains of animals from almost anywhere outside of the lab. The low-cost setup of this system means it can be easily adopted by other labs due to its minimalistic hardware, ease of use, and customizability. Scientists will be able to implement this technology in their existing laboratories with minimal budget concerns to achieve remote access and automate experiments where having a human present could affect the outcomes of the study.

Majumdar Receives $2 Million in Grant Funds to Support Research on Safer Analgesics

Susruta Majumdar, Ph.D., associate professor of medicinal chemistry and pharmacology at University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy in St. Louis, has been awarded $2 million in grants to further his work to target opioid and non-opioid receptors with the goal of creating safer analgesics for pain relief.

Al-Hasani Research Featured in Nature Neuroscience

Breakthrough research from Ream Al-Hasani, Ph.D., assistant professor of pharmaceutical science at University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy in St. Louis, and her research team at the Center for Clinical Pharmacology, has identified a new pathway in the brain that may contribute to more effective treatments for drug addiction and depression.

UHSP Researchers Publish Kratom Research in ACS Chemical Neuroscience

Soumen Chakraborty, postdoctoral research associate in the Majumdar labs in the Center for Clinical Pharmacology, was the lead author of a paper recently published in ACS Chemical Neuroscience, which highlighted his research team’s efforts to isolate new, less prevalent alkaloids from the plant kratom.

Majumdar Lab in the press: Journal of Medicinal Chemistry

Drs. Susruta Majumdar and Abdelfattah Faouzi recently co-published a paper in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry highlighting their work to uncover a compound that could play a key role in the future development of alternative therapeutics for pain management.

Nobel Prize Winner, Dr. Brian Kobilka, M.D., Presents at Seminar Series

Brian Kobilka, M.D., professor of molecular and cellular physiology at Stanford University and winner of the 2012 Nobel Prize in chemistry, recently visited St. Louis College of Pharmacy to present his current research. He was invited by the Center for Clinical Pharmacology as part of its 2019-2020 speaker series.

Read the Latest Press on Dr. Majumdar’s Research Featured in Scientific American (Links to an external site)

The United States is in the grip of an epidemic. Opioid drugs are powerful pain-relieving medications, but come with a high risk of addiction. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 91 Americans die each day from opioid overdoses, and that figure is rising.
Dr. Majumdar and colleagues are working to combat the epidemic, but perhaps the frontline science is chemistry.