SEP 24, 2014 01:00 PM PDT

The VCNDD: CNS Drug Discovery in Academia

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  • Co-Director and Director of Medicinal Chemistry, Vanderbilt Center for Neuroscience Drug Discovery (VCNDD)
      Craig W. Lindsley, Ph.D. is the Co-Director and Director of Medicinal Chemistry for the Vanderbilt Center for Neuroscience Drug Discovery (VCNDD).  Craig graduated in 1992 from California State University, Chico with a B.S. in Chemistry, received his Ph.D. degree in Chemistry from the University of California, Santa Barbara (Lipshutz), in 1996, and pursued postdoctoral studies at Harvard University (Shair). In 2001, Craig accepted a position at Merck & Co where he pioneered, in positions of increasing responsibility, the development of allosteric ligands for Akt, mGlu5 and M1, providing critical proof-of-concept compounds that validated the mechanism of allosteric modulation and clinical candidates.  In 2006, Craig accepted an Associate Professor position in Pharmacology and Chemistry at Vanderbilt University, and promoted to Full Professor in 2009.  In that same year, Craig became the founding Editor-in-Chief of ACS Chemical Neuroscience and was also awarded the ASPET-Astellas Award for Translational Pharmacology.  In 2013, Craig was awarded the Portoghese Lectureship from the ACS MEDI division and the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry for impact in the field of medicinal chemistry, and in 2014, received the John J. Abel Award in Pharmacology from ASPET. Craig holds 40 issued US patents and has published over 300 manuscripts and another 140 published patent applications.  

    This lecture will provide an overview of the Vanderbilt Center for Neuroscience Drug Discovery (VCNDD), focusing on how an Academic Drug Discovery Center was established and is maintained. I will discuss why we elected to focus on allosteric modulation of GPCRs and how we interact with corporate partners (both biotech and big Pharma) and the structure of licensing and sponsored research. Key to the success of the Center is an appreciation that there is no 'one size fits all' for collaborations with industry and biotech, and our Center has thus far formed seven unique collaborations. In this talk, I will discuss all of these, as well as the pros and cons of the different models. Finally, I will showcase an example from HTS to IND-enabling studies for a challenging target with a corporate partner that was successful due to the 'deep dive' into the basic science by our academic arm of the VCNDD.

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