Jinhua Wu

NEUROPHARMACOLOGY | Assistant Member
Phone: (772) 345-4716 | Fax: (772) 345-3649 |
Jinhua Wu

Dr. Wu is an expert in molecular biology, neurobehavioral pharmacology and in vitro pharmacology, particularly in assay development and library screening. His current research mainly focuses on the identification of novel smoking cessation medications using the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor as a drug target. He is also pursuing therapeutics for acute and chronic pain, utilizing a unique functional assay he developed for opioid receptors.

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Colette Dooley

Pain Management | Assistant Member
Phone: (772) 345-4709 | Fax: (772) 345-3649 |
Colette Dooley

Dr. Dooley uses her training in combinatorial libraries and fluorescent imaging to research new methods for pain relief, addiction and food regulation, and investigates cells' response to stresses which may lead to a better understanding of pain management, chronic pain, addiction, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.

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Marc Giulianotti

CHEMISTRY | Director of Chemistry Operations
Phone: (772) 345-4729 | Fax: (772) 345-3649 |
Marc Giulianotti

Mr. Giulianotti’s research focuses on identifying potential human therapeutics and diagnostics as well as agricultural treatments. The research group combines novel approaches in combinatorial chemistry, computer-aided drug design and mathematics. The research group is currently involved in a number of different interdisciplinary projects with internal and external collaborators focusing in areas such as pain management, cancer, obesity, stroke and citrus greening.

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Madepalli Lakshmana

NEUROBIOLOGY | Associate Member
Phone: (772) 345-4698 | Fax: (772) 345-3649 |
Madepalli Lakshmana

The primary research interest of my group is to understand molecular mechanism for the reduced synaptic connections in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) leading to loss of memory, a seminal feature of AD. AD is characterized by the presence of intracellular neurofibrillary tangles and extracellular amyloid plaques believed to be responsible for loss of synapses. The long-term objective of my research is to discover molecular targets which may modulate generation of amyloid beta peptide (Ab), the core constituent of amyloid plaques. Additionally, we are interested to investigate whether critical regulators of spine generation and maintenance can be used as therapeutic targets in AD since loss of synapses is a crucial factor for the cognitive deficits in AD.

In spite of rigorous research efforts worldwide, currently there is not a single drug available that can effectively reverse or even slow down the loss of memory in patients with AD. Therefore our goal is to use proof-of-concept molecules which modulate Ab generation and/or number of spines to discover lead compounds using varieties of small molecule and peptide libraries by high throughput screening (HTS). To accomplish these objectives we will use histological, pharmacological, biochemical and molecular approaches by using varieties of techniques including immunoprecipitation, yeast two-hybrid screening, in vivo lentiviral delivery, transgenic mouse models, knockout mouse models, high throughput robotics screening and TR-FRET imaging.

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Yangmei Li

CHEMISTRY | Senior Scientist
Phone: (772) 345-4725 | Fax: (772) 345-3649 |
Yangmei Li

My research interest focuses on the development of new methodologies for the synthesis of bioactive compounds, particularly cyclic peptides and heterocyclic compounds. I am also interested in developing novel ‘volatilizable’ supports for organic synthesis. My current research interest is total synthesis of natural cyclic peptides (cyclic depsipeptides) and their analogs for targeting different diseases including bacteria resistance, cancer, inflammation, and pain.

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Karina Martínez Mayorga

CONFORMATIONAL ANALYSIS | Assistant Member
Phone: (772) 345-4688 | Fax: (772) 345-3649 |
Karina Martinez Mayorga

Dr. Martínez-Mayorga focuses on the development of structural models by computational and spectroscopic techniques to aid in the design of new compounds that may be used to treat disease. Some of the computational methods employed in our research group are: conformational analysis, molecular similarity searching, ligand-based virtual screening, quantum chemical calculations, and molecular dynamics simulations. The spectroscopic characterization is primarily based on nuclear magnetic resonance experiments. In close collaboration with national and international research groups, we are developing structural models with relevance to treating a variety of health-related conditions such as diabetes, pain, cancer, as well as the vision process. In addition, we are studying the importance of flavor chemicals on mood and exploring the use of metal complexes to combat serious but neglected tropical diseases.

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Jose Luis Medina-Franco

COMPUTER AIDED DRUG DESIGN | Assistant Member
Phone: (772) 345-4685 | Fax: (772) 345-3649 |
Jose Medina

Dr. Medina-Franco's research focuses on computer-aided drug design. The research group conducts virtual screening of large compound databases to identify novel compounds directed to targets associated with the treatment of cancer, HIV/AIDS and other diseases. Molecular modeling and chemoinformatic methods are used for the structure-based and ligand-based optimization of bioactive compounds. The group also performs structural classification, diversity analysis and data mining of chemical libraries. Current projects include:

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Adel Nefzi

ASSOCIATE MEMBER | Director of Chemistry
Phone: (772) 345-4739 | Fax: (772) 345-3649 |
Adel Nefzi

The central focus of my work is the development of efficient approaches to the synthesis of novel small molecule and macrocyclic compounds. All of the libraries prepared are being made available to the scientific community through the Institute Biological Outreach Program for the identification of new hits as first steps of an optimal “design and selection” process for lead optimization for the development of new pain management, cancer, tuberculosis and antimicrobial drugs.

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Greg Welmaker

President/Chief Operating Officer / Director of Drug Discovery
Phone: (772) 345-4582 | Fax: (772) 345-3649 |
Greg Welmaker

Dr. Welmaker is an experienced medicinal chemist having worked in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry for over 15 years. During this time, he led teams in both the early and late stages of drug discovery. At Torrey Pines Institute, he continues to utilize these experiences to help identify new compounds suitable for advancement into human clinical trials.

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Richard A. Houghten

Founder/ Chief Executive Officer
Phone: (772) 345-4580 | Fax: (772) 345-0253 |
Richard Houghten

Richard A. Houghten, is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies. The Institute was founded in 1988, and began its operations in 1989 with eight employees. TPIMS is now internationally recognized for its scientific contributions in a wide range of fields, including chemistry, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, immunology, infectious disease, heart disease, cancer vaccines and pain management. Employees of the Institute work in an environment that emphasizes personal and professional growth by encouraging the development of independent research ideas as well as the development of collaborative efforts with scientists throughout the world.

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