Navigation Links
Aussie neuroscientist tests addiction drug
Date:2/19/2008

UQ pharmacy graduate Dr Selena Bartlett is starting clinical trials of a new drug that could potentially curb addictions such as smoking, drinking, gambling even depression.

The drug, marketed as Chantix by Pfizer, has reduced alcohol consumption in laboratory rats by 50 percent and will be trialled in humans next month by Dr Bartlett and Dr Markus Heilig's team in the United States.

Chantix latches onto good feeling' receptors in the brain to block cravings for addictions such as nicotine or alcohol.

Dr Bartlett is the Director of the Preclinical Development Group at the Ernest Gallo Clinic and Research Centre, one of the world's top alcohol and addiction research centres, at the University of California in San Francisco.

She said she was convinced of the drug's potential but it had been hard to convince others, despite the drug gaining widespread media attention in the US.

Big companies still do not believe in the potential of addiction as a market, believe it or not, Dr Bartlett said.

The Chantix trials are just one of 10 major projects for Dr Bartlett's lab team, which is working on reducing ethanol consumption and new drug screening technologies.

Dr Bartlett was asked to set up her preclinical lab to study addiction and how it modifies brain function.

I wanted to make a difference in the world and develop treatments that would help people, she said.

Addiction is currently one of the most under-served and least understood.

Her passion for understanding brain functions stemmed from her late-sister who had schizophrenia.

She is still very much a driving force in my life and the reason I am doing this type of translational research.

She also hopes to create a Foundation to fund research and develop better treatments for neuropsychiatric diseases such as schizophrenia, in memory of her sister.

Dr Bartlett grew up in the small South Burnett town of Nanango, where her parents ran the local pharmacy for 35 years until last November.

She went to UQ like many of her siblings, parents and her husband's parents and grandparents going back to the 1920s.

She studied pharmacy at UQ with a Bachelor, Hons and PhD by 1994, with the expectation that she eventually work back in the family pharmacy.

By the time she finished her pharmacy study with a focus on morphine tolerance and dependence, she had also found two loves her husband and neuroscience.

I loved my time at UQ. It changed my life. I went in with all intentions of becoming a practising pharmacist and left a neuroscientist.

I became addicted to the thrill of a new discovery and research . . .I also fell in love with neurosciences.

I could see that understanding the neurobiological basis of addiction would provide valuable insights into brain function but also would help to uncover the causes of this devastating disease.

Dr Bartlett and her husband Peter, also a UQ student at the time studying electrical engineering and computer science, met while windsurfing at the Gold Coast.

After working in Australia they moved to the US and then Dr Bartlett was offered the job of setting up a lab to develop a new model of translational research.

I was advised not to do it. This is where being Australian and my early experiences in Nanango really kicked in. I decided to give it a go.

She said growing up in a small country town and her time in the family's pharmacy gave her a pioneering attitude, fearlessness and stubbornness.

I remember counting pills the old way, one by one, or ten by ten.

I have vivid memories of my dad making ointments on a glass slab.

My dad used to make industrial quantities of ointments at one time. The ointment was gooey and took forever to make, sometimes hours.


'/>"/>

Contact: Miguel Holland
m.holland@uq.edu.au
61-733-652-619
Research Australia
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Brandeis neuroscientist wins NIH directors Pioneer Award
2. Jefferson neuroscientists show anti-inflammation molecule helps fight MS-like disease
3. Leading neuroscientist seeks beauty, love and happiness
4. Carnegie Mellon neuroscientist proposes new theory of brain flexibility
5. Jefferson neuroscientists find early lead exposure impedes recovery from brain injury
6. MITs McGovern Institute honors Emory neuroscientist for contributions to psychiatry
7. Experts propose cholesterol tests at 15 months of age
8. Fecal Blood Tests Effective at Spotting Colon Cancer
9. Drug Industry Seeks Tests to Spot Side Effect Risks
10. Noninvasive tests for cirrhosis may help to avoid liver biopsy
11. K-State Veterinary Lab Routinely Tests For Bluetongue Virus; Lab Director Says Strains Found in Kansas, U.S. Usually Less-Virulent
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/5/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... May 05, 2016 , ... TIME for ... safety – today announced a new partnership to reach nearly 1 million children with ... in an instant and is the leading cause of accidental death in children one ...
(Date:5/5/2016)... , ... May 05, 2016 , ... The 2016 Nike ... Derek Pittman, along with his university coaching staff. Together they bring their winning Vandals ... sessions run for youth players ages 5-13, and high school players. Session dates are ...
(Date:5/5/2016)... Ohio (PRWEB) , ... May 05, 2016 , ... United ... Cycle. , Clark brings more than 15 years of experience within the healthcare ... from a successful career as the Director of Patient Financial Services at Spectrum Health. ...
(Date:5/5/2016)... Dallas, Texas (PRWEB) , ... May 05, 2016 ... ... and relationship-marketing firm, honored finalists and winners Tuesday evening, May 3, at the ... Dallas, Texas. , Scott Pettigrew, Vice President and Chief Security Officer of ...
(Date:5/5/2016)... ... May 05, 2016 , ... ACLS Certification Institute, a ... new referral program, giving participants incentive for spreading the word about the Institute’s ... know many professionals share resources with their friends and colleagues,” said Vonda Andrews, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/5/2016)... , May 5, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... announced the addition of the  "Europe ... - 2016"  report to their offering.  ... ) , ,The latest research ... Highlights - 2016, provides comprehensive insights ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... , May 4, 2016  It,s time for an upgrade. There are many ... a brilliant 3.5 inch LCD, the illustrious DVMAXX HD  offers unparalleled connectivity and ... well as a world class manufacturer of innovative technology.  Photo - ... ... ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... , May 4, 2016 ... completion of an alternative public offering (APO). This was ... operating company, Valeritas, Inc. and a private placement of ... at $5.00 per share. Under the terms ... 3, 2016, Valeritas Holdings, Inc. will trade on the ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: