Wolk Lecture: Immunopharmacotherapy for the Treatment of Substance Abuse Disorders

Prof. Kim Janda, Department of Chemistry and Immunology, Scripps Research Institute, will speak.  Substance use disorders are a global public health concern with less than optimal treatment outcomes. This is most evident with the national emergency declared against the opioid crisis. Our ability to prevent the spread of drug abuse and aid individuals with a substance use disorder is handicapped by the lack of sufficient treatment modalities. For example, many patients are receiving treatment relapse; therefore, there is an urgent need to discover effective medications to treat opioid abuse. Traditional, small-molecule approaches have only been marginally successful in treating substance use disorders; as such we have sought alternative treatments to conventional drug pharmacotherapies. “Biologics” based therapeutics offer an alternative to customary pharmacodynamic approaches for treating both substance use disorders as well as lethality threats from many of these drugs. Specifically, I will discuss the history and some basic tenets on vaccination as well as how vaccination can alter the pharmacokinetic properties of drugs without burdening the recipient with untoward CNS side effects. Moreover, the lecture will detail the chemistry, immunology and behavioral findings from some of our vaccines against opioids including heroin, the fentanyl’s and oxy/hydrocodone. Finally, I will detail how we can utilize a biologic from a bacterial source as a means of treating nicotine substance disorders. Co-sponsored by the Michael Wolk Heart Foundation and the Division of Natural Sciences & Mathematics. 

Tuesday, March 26, 2019 at 7:30pm to 9:00pm

Olin Hall, 300


Academics, Natural Sciences Mathematics

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