Drug Discovery

The goal of this laboratory is to identify drugs that treat depression, schizophrenia, drug addiction and various types of pain.


  • Triple reuptake inhibitor drugs. A collaborative licensing of the triple reuptake inhibitors (TRIs) has led to the syntheses of nearly 400 new compounds, all of which were returned to Mayo Clinic and Virginia Tech. Only a few of the compounds retain TRI pharmacology, and a few are highly selective dopamine transporter (DAT) blockers. These DAT blockers could be useful in treating disorders other than depression. The laboratory has discussed licensing opportunities for clinical development with a pharmaceutical company.
  • Neurotensin compounds. Strong evidence has been published supporting neurotensin compounds to treat schizophrenia, psychostimulant abuse and pain. These compounds are studied for topical treatment of eye pain, and researchers are optimistic about the synergy between neurotensin peptides and opioids in pain treatment.
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome. A grant application is pending with the U.S. Department of Defense on this research.