Drug Discovery

A major goal of Pharmacology research is to discover novel therapeutic strategies for the treatment of disease.  Many researchers at Michigan Pharmacology are interested translating their basic research ideas into the development of novel therapeutics.  In collaboration with the Center for the Development of New Medicines and the Center for Chemical Genomics we are screening for novel chemical tools that bind to newly appreciated drug targets for use in validating novel ideas for drugs.  This research encompasses the disciplines of chemistry, biochemistry and cell biology to yield novel chemicals that may represent new drug leads.


Michael Holinstat, Associate Professor

RESEARCH FOCUS: Platelets, Thrombosis, Hemostasis, Clotting, Lipids, Lipoxygenase, Clinical research, Translational research, 12-LOX.

Dave Jones, Assistant Professor

RESEARCH FOCUS:  voltage-gated potassium channel, hERG, cardiac physiology and pathophysiology.

Robert U. Simpson, Professor

RESEARCH FOCUS: Vitamin D pleiotropic actions. Vitamin D Receptor mechanisms.

Alan Smrcka, Professor

RESEARCH FOCUS: G proteins; G protein coupled-receptors; Cell Signaling Pathways; Drug Discovery; Cardiac Hypertrophy; Innate Immune Cell Regulation; Phosphatidylinositol, Calcium, and Protein kinase Signaling.

Greg Tall, Associate Professor

RESEARCH FOCUS: Heterotrimeric G protein Signaling, G protein folding chaperones, Mechanisms of Adhesion GPCR action, Somatic G protein disease mutations, GNAQ/11-driven uveal melanoma, High throughput screening and small molecule probe discovery.

John Traynor, Professor

RESEARCH FOCUS: Mechanisms of action of addictive drugs. To provide medications for pain relief and the treatment of addictions.

Joint/Adjunct Faculty

Eugene Chen, Professor

RESEARCH FOCUS: cardiovascular medicine, molecular basis of diabetes/obesity-induced cardiovascular diseases and stroke.

Mark Cohen, Associate Professor

RESEARCH FOCUS: Development of novel drugs including naturally derived withanolides, novel HSP90 inhibitors and nanoparticle drug delivery systems for improved treatment of cancers, bone and wound healing, sepsis, and endocrine diseases.

Robert T. Kennedy, Professor

RESEARCH FOCUS: neurotransmitters, insulin, metabolomics.

Judith Leopold (Cancer Center, Radiology), Research Professor

RESEARCH FOCUS: Oncogene signaling, kinase inhibitor drug discovery, colorectal and pancreatic cancer.

Emily Scott, Professor

RESEARCH FOCUS: Structure/function of cytochrome P450 enzymes; drug metabolism; drug design.

James Shayman (Internal Medicine), Professor

RESEARCH FOCUS: lysosomal storage diseases and the biochemistry, cellular biology and pharmacology of sphingolipids.

Shaomeng Wang, Professor

RESEARCH FOCUS: Small-molecule drug design, synthesis, discovery, evaluation and development; new computational methods for drug design.