Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Geoffrey Swanson Lab

Discovery of novel neuroative compounds from marine organisms

Marine natural products have proven to be invaluable tools in neuroscience.  They serve as critical pharmacological reagents as well as lead compounds for therapeutic applications.  The unique value of many marine neuroactive compounds lies in their unanticipated structural diversity and variety of activities on mammalian receptors and proteins involved in brain function. This project integrates research strengths in neuroscience and marine chemistry that exist between the Swanson laboratory and our long-term collaborator, Ryuichi Sakai at Hokkaido University, to discovery new neuroactive molecules from marine organisms. Our successful collaboration has now spanned more than a decade, during which time we isolated and characterized a variety of new small molecules and proteins with actions in the CNS.