Dave Melanson

By

College: Pharmacy

UK Researcher Developing Overdose Treatment

Published: Jan 24, 2013

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 24, 2013) — Chang-Guo Zhan, professor in the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy’s Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, received a three-year, $1.8 million National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant to develop a therapeutic treatment for cocaine overdose.

 

The development of an anti-cocaine medication for the treatment of cocaine overdose has challenged the scientific community for years. In fact, there is no current FDA-approved anti-cocaine overdose medication on the market.

 

“According to federal data, cocaine is the No. 1 illicit drug responsible for drug overdose related emergency department visits,” Zhan said. “More than half a million people visit emergency rooms across the country each year due to cocaine overdose.”

 

This new grant is the fourth in a series of investigator-initiated research project (R01) awards that Zhan has received from the NIH to continue to discover and develop a cocaine abuse therapy. In previous work, Zhan has developed unique computational design approaches to generate of high activity variants of butyrylcholinesterase (BChE), a naturally occurring human enzyme that rapidly transforms cocaine into biologically inactive metabolites.

 

Zhan and his collaborators have improved BChE catalytic activity specifically against cocaine by 4,000 times. The focus of this new grant is to optimize and stabilize these high-activity BChE variants. The hope is that at the end of this grant, this therapy will be ready for clinical development.

 

“Dr. Zhan’s lab is at the leading-edge of cocaine overdose therapy,” said Linda Dwoskin, associate dean for research at the UK College of Pharmacy. “This grant is the culmination of the pre-clinical, innovative and groundbreaking work that has been taking place in Dr. Zhan’s laboratory for many years. The next step will be to move this potential therapy into clinical use and make it available to those who need it.”

 

Zhan has been working on cocaine abuse therapy since 2000. He came to UK in 2003 from Columbia University and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, where he has continued his passion for developing an effective therapy for cocaine overdose.

 

“When I decided upon a career in research, I wanted to conduct research that would directly benefit human health,” Zhan said. “I wanted to develop solutions to problems and to fill a void in the market. This research is doing that, and all the research projects in my lab are driven by that purpose.”

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Keith Hautala, (859) 323-2396; keith.hautala@uky.edu 

 

zhan_web.jpg
February
1
 
Sun
2
Undergraduate Research Information Session
Mon
3
National Student Exchange (NSE) Info Session
Tue
4
LNFS Presents: Groundhog Day
Wildcat Wellness: Meditation
Massage on the Go #1
Last Day to Drop a Course Without Appearing on Transcript
Internship Info Session
Wed
5
LNFS Presents: Interstellar
LNFS Presents: Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry
Thu
6
LNFS Presents: Songcatcher
LNFS Presents: Wall-E
Cultural Coffee Hour
Fri
7
 
Sat
8
 
Sun
9
 
Mon
10
Employer Showcase: Day 1 Technical Career Fair
Job Club: Successful Telephone Interview/Screening Tips and How to Choose & Prep your Professional References
Tue
11
LNFS Presents: Caddyshack
Wildcat Wellness: Meditation
Employer Showcase: Day 2 Non-Technical Career Fair
Last Day to Drop a Course with 50% Refund
Wildcat Wednesday
#TrendingTopics: Space Exploration
Wed
12
LNFS Presents: Taxi Driver
LNFS Presents: Gone Girl
National Student Exchange (NSE) Info Session
UK Elder Care Lunch & Learn - Legal Planning
Thu
13
LNFS Presents: The Great Gatsby
Cultural Coffee Hour
Fri
14
 
Sat
15
 
Sun
16
 
Mon
17
LNFS Presents: Dear White People
Tue
18
Caregiver Support Group
LNFS Presents: Wreck-It Ralph
Wildcat Wellness: Meditation
National Student Exchange (NSE) Info Session
Wed
19
LNFS Presents: Nightcrawler
LNFS Presents: Ip Man
Celebration at UK vs Texas A & M Women’s Basketball Game, Memorial Coliseum
Thu
20
LNFS Presents: The Bang Bang Club
Cultural Coffee Hour
Fri
21
Celebration at UK vs Auburn Men’s Basketball Game
Sat
22
 
Sun
23
Convocation
Mon
24
National Student Exchange (NSE) Info Session
Job Club: Interview Strategies from the Other Side of the Table
Tue
25
LNFS Presents: Inception
Wildcat Wellness: Meditation
Fellows Founders Week Luncheon
Wed
26
LNFS Presents: The Birds
LNFS Presents: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt. 1
Guest Lecture: President Emeritus Mark Yudof of the University of California – Berkley
Thu
27
LNFS Presents: Superbad
LNFS Presents: Little Shop of Horrors
Cultural Coffee Hour
The Blue Tie Bash
Fri
28
 
Sat

Mon, 02/02/2015

Tue, 02/03/2015

Repeats every week until Thu Apr 30 2015 except Wed Mar 18 2015.
Wed, 02/04/2015

Reset Page