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Cyanobacterial Natural Products as Leads for Understanding and Treating Chronic Pain

CP 114
Speaker(s) / Presenter(s):
Dr. Kevin Tidgewell

1Abstract: There is a pressing need to develop novel therapeutic agents against new targets for chronic pain. The Tidgewell Lab uses cyanobacterial-derived natural products as the starting point for chronic neuropathic pain drug development by targeting receptors and other targets involved in pain. The Tidgewell lab works in the areas of natural products chemistry conducting isolation and structure elucidation work and combines that with medicinal and organic chemistry for the understanding and enhancement of these leads for physicochemical and biological effect. In this talk, you will hear about the background of natural products for developing our understanding of the brain as well as current work and projects using marine cyanobacterial natural products to understand and treat chronic pain.


Bio: Tidgewell grew up in southern California before heading east to earn his BS in Chemistry with a minor in Mathematics from Mercyhurst College (now University). He then joined the Prisinzano lab at the University of Iowa, where he earned his Ph.D. in 2007, working to develop non-addictive analgesics based on the plant hallucinogen Salvinorin A.

Tidgewell returned to southern California for a Post-Doc in the Gerwick Lab at Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the University of California, San Diego. He spent two years working at SIO on cancer drug discovery from marine cyanobacteria before moving to Panama to work on Dr. Gerwick’s ICBG project at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. Tidgewell spent just over two years working in Panama on neglected tropical diseases drug discovery from marine cyanobacteria before starting a faculty position at Duquesne University in 2012.

The Tidgewell lab moved to Kentucky in July of 2023, and the work focuses on combining marine natural products with synthetic, medicinal chemistry to discover and better understand novel compounds from marine cyanobacteria for CNS disorders.

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