Dr. Bryan Roth, the Michael J. Hooker Distinguished Professor in Pharmacology in the School of Medicine has received the PhRMA Foundation Award in Excellence in Pharmacology/Toxicology.
PhRMA Awards in Excellence are given to scientists who have previously received a PhRMA award at the beginning of their careers when they are deciding on their area of specialization, and then have gone on to distinguish themselves with their scientific and/or academic achievements.
Dr. Roth was a previous 1991 PhRMA Research Starter Grant in Pharmacology/Toxicology recipient.
The main focus of Dr. Roth's research is in trying to understand how central nervous system drugs exert their effects, both at the atomic level and in humans, in the brain's neurons.
One of Dr. Roth's more recent projects has been the development of a computer model which can predict new disease targets for existing drugs and which also can predict drug interactions and side effects before the drug is tested clinically. He is looking at this in particular in relation to diseases such as schizophrenia, depression, bipolar disorder and eating disorders.
Dr. Roth has more than 300 publications, including numerous ones in Science, Nature, Cell, Neuron, and the New England Journal of Medicine. He has been the recipient of many honors and awards, "served on the editorial boards of eight major scientific journals"," is a frequent consultant to major pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, has served as a regular member for three separate NIH Study sections and served as Chair of the Molecular Libraries Screening Centers Review Group," as cited on the PhRMA website.
Other major discoveries by Dr. Roth cited on the PhRMA website:
"• Many basic discoveries related to serotonin receptor pharmacology and molecular biology (Berger et al, Ann Rev Medicine 2009; Ann Rev of Pharmacology in progress for 2011).
• Identification of molecular target responsible for the side-effects of fenfluramine (aka ‘Fen/Phen’; see Roth, NEJM 2007 for review)
• Identification of the molecular target responsible for the actions of the hallucinogen salvinorin A (Roth et al, PNAS 2002)
• Creation of engineered GPCRs to selectively modulate cellular signaling in vivo and in vitro (see Armbruster et al, PNAS 2007; Alexander et al, Neuron 2009; Guettier et al, PNAS 2009; Rogan et al, Nature Protocols, in press).
• Identification of ‘off-target’ targets responsible for drug side-effects and new therapeutic uses (Roth et al, Nature Rev Drug Discov 2004; Keiser et al, Nature 2009)."
Read more about Dr. Roth's award in an article in The Daily Tar Heel, April 11, 2011 issue, titled, "Psychoatives expert takes unconventional path to award," which includes interviews with members of the Roth Lab. In the article, Dr. Roth, in his typically modest manner, shares the credit: "It's a team effort--they do all the work."