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Bryan Roth honored for excellence in clinical pharmacology
Date:3/24/2011

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - Bryan L. Roth, PhD, the Michael J. Hooker Distinguished Professor of Pharmacology in the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine, has received the PhRMA Foundation Award in Excellence in Pharmacology/Toxicology.

Roth is also professor in the departments of pharmacology, medicinal chemistry and natural products and he holds the Michael Hooker Chair of Protein Therapeutics and Translational Proteomics.

His work in pharmacology and drug discovery has earned him numerous patents and he has published nearly 300 articles in, among many other publications, Science, Nature, Cell and the New England Journal of Medicine. He has also trained dozens of doctoral and post-doctoral students who have also become leaders in their field.

Much of Roth's research focuses on trying to understand how central nervous system drugs affect the brain's neurons. The goal is to investigate existing treatments in order to find new treatments and mitigate side effects, particularly for such problems as schizophrenia, depression, bipolar disorder and eating disorders.

"We really don't understand how most drugs currently used in brain disorders work," he explained. "If we can uncover how they exert their therapeutic actions, we hope to find drugs that are more effective. Additionally, if we can understand the side effects of current drugs, we'll know what molecular targets we have to avoid in making new drugs so they don't have the side effects."

Essentially, the work identifies both good targets for drug development, and bad targets to be avoided. In one application of the technique, Roth's lab identified potentially safe and effective compounds for treating obesity. Those compounds have been out-licensed to biotech companies for commercial development.

And In one of his most important research projects, Dr. Roth and his team at UNC, along with scientists at the University of Calif
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Contact: Les Lang
llang@med.unc.edu
919-966-9366
University of North Carolina School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert  

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