1976-PRESENT Professor: Department of Integrative Physiology and Neuroscience, Washington State University (WSU)
1979-PRESENT Adjunct Professor: Biochemistry/Biophysics Program, WSU
1982-PRESENT Adjunct Professor: Psychology Department, WSU
1985-PRESENT Graduate Faculty: Pharmacology/Toxicology Program, WSU
1993-PRESENT Graduate Faculty: Neuroscience Program, WSU
My laboratory is focused on the development of small molecule therapeutics that target growth factors. These include both activators and antagonists. Most recently we have been developing activators of hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), which have powerful regenerative properties. Two of these molecule are poised to enter human clinical trials for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. In addition to their potential utility in treating multiple neurodegenerative diseases they are currently being considered in my laboratory and collaborator's laboratories as treatments for traumatic brain and spinal cord injury, transplant reinnervation, hearing loss, general wound healing, fibrotic diseases, type II diabetes and congestive heart failure. Conversely we are actively developing and examining the utility of HGF and dual HGF/macrophage stimulating protein (MSP) antagonists as anti-cancer and anti-angiogenic therapeutics. Dual HGF/MSP antagonist have exhibited promising therapeutic activity in xenograph models of pancreatic cancer, which has up until now been untreatable. Future work will include the: 1) the evaluation of HGF activators as treatment for new clinical indications; 2) the design and development of new HGF activators with modified pharmacokinetic and targeting properties; 3) the further development of HG/MSP antagonists with a goal of entering clinical trails for one or more cancers in three years; and 4) the expansion of our technology to other growth factors like BDNF and VEGF.