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Dr. Abbruscato named NIH section chair


Thomas Abbruscato

Thomas J. Abbruscato, Ph.D., professor and Chair of the TTUHSC School of Pharmacy’s Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, accepted an invitation from the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to serve as Chairperson for the Drug Discovery for the Nervous System Study Section (DDNS), Center for Scientific Review.

The DDNS reviews pre-clinical applications toward discovering new pharmacotherapeutic and immunotherapeutic agents to be used in treating or preventing disorders of the nervous system, including drug abuse. The goal is to see these discoveries eventually lead to clinical trials and Federal Drug Administration approval, according to the NIH Center for Scientific Review website.

Topics listed for review by the DDNS include medicinal chemistry; development of protein-based therapies and drug-specific metabolizing enzymes; study of natural products; development of screening assays and targeted delivery systems; and pharmacokinetic approaches in drug discovery.

Members are selected based on their abilities and achievements within their scientific disciplines, as demonstrated by the quality of their research accomplishments, publications in scientific journals and other significant scientific activities, achievements and honors. Abbruscato’s term began in July and ends in June 2016.

Abbruscato joined the faculty at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Pharmacy in 2000 and took the Pharmaceutical Sciences Chair position in 2009. He also serves as an Associate Dean of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, a position he has held since 2008. His research focuses on approaches to understanding the mechanisms by which the neurovascular unit responds to brain ischemia with respect to transport protein expression; cell-to-cell interactions; and the transport of drugs, ions and nutrients vital for brain recovery after a stroke. The overall goal of Abbruscato’s lab is to make significant preclinical discoveries that will translate clinically to novel treatment options for stroke patients who do not have many viable therapeutic options at this point to improve brain recovery.

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