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“Glycine Transport Inhibitors for the Treatment of Chronic Pain”

Neuroscience & Non-Communicable Diseases WEBINAR

Speaker: Professor Rob Vandenberg, University of Sydney

Abstract of Seminar by Rob Vandenberg
In 2018, Chronic pain affected more than 3.2 million Australians with a cost of $139 Billion. Despite the high level of prevalence and enormous socioeconomic burden incurred, pharmacological treatment of chronic pain remains limited as it is often refractory to current analgesics. Thus, the discovery and development of new analgesics that are more effective remains a critical unmet need. Disruptions in glycine neurotransmission have become one of the well established pathological features of neuropathic pain in animal models, which has prompted a search for glycine transport inhibitors to restore this deficit. There have been significant developments in the last 5 years in our understanding of how lipids bind and modulate the functions of membrane proteins. Through a combination of structural biology, medicinal chemistry together with pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetic considerations as well as behavioural pharmacological approaches we have developed a series of acyl-amino acids that show promise as analgesics for the treatment of chronic pain.

Rob Vandenberg did his PhD in Biochemistry at USYD, followed by Postdocs at the Garvan Institute and the Vollum Institute in Portland Oregon before being appointed in the Department of Pharmacology at USYD in 1995. He was a NHMRC Senior Research Fellow from 2005-2010 and Head of the Discipline of Pharmacology from 2010-2019.  He is now Deputy Head of the School of Medical Sciences and Director of Academic Career Development. He has had a long standing interest in understanding the structures and functions of neurotransmitter transporters and receptors and using this to better understand drug interactions.

Enquiries: Lindsay Wu,    Angela Finch

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Friday, 22 May 2020 - 3:00pm
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