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Craig W. Lindsley, Ph.D.

University Professor, Department of Pharmacology
Executive Director, Warren Center for Neuroscience Drug Discovery
University Professor, Biochemistry and Chemistry
William K. Warren, Jr. Chair in Medicine

Research Description

The major focus of the Lindsley laboratory is drug discovery and medicinal chemistry. Students in my lab will collaborate with other members of the Pharmacology, Drug Metabolism and Clinical Pharmacology departments to pursue small molecule hits from high throughput screens, perform lead optimization studies to develop structure-activity-relationships (SAR) and ultimately deliver small molecules with acceptable properties to validate novel targets/mechanisms in in vivo animal models of target diseases. The molecular targets of interest are kinases, GPCRs, ion channels, nuclear hormone receptors and protein-protein interactions, with an emphasis on allosteric modulation as opposed to classical agonism/antagonism. Therapeutic areas of interest span cancer, neuroscience (schizophrenia, anxiety, pain, sleep, Parkinson’s disease) and endocrinology (diabetes, obesity). Students will be exposed to every phase of classical drug discovery. As a member of ther Vanderbilt Institutue of Chemical Biology, training in my laboratory will be broad and involve organic synthesis, medicinal chemistry, pharmacology and drug metabolism. For many programs in the neuroscience area, students will have the opportunity to also develop radioligands for binding assay development and PET tracers for imaging studies.

Another focus in the group is parallel synthesis and the development of new technologies for library synthesis. The lab has state-of-the-art microwave synthesis technology, a mass-directed HPLC purification platform and a large collection of monomers and polymer-supported reagents. There are a number of projects directed at synthesizing libraries of small molecule protein-protein inhibitors, target family-directed libraries and other drug-like small molecule libraries for use in high throughput screening efforts.

The third area of interest in my group is synthetic organic chemistry. Students will have the opportunity to work on synthetic methodology projects as well as partial and total synthesis projects.

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Vanderbilt Faculty Profile

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Warren Center for Neuroscience Drug Discovery at Vanderbilt University 

Vanderbilt Center for Addiction Research (VCAR) 

Vanderbilt Institute of Chemical Biology (VICB)