Julius Axelrod Award in Pharmacology Lecture

Wednesday April 28, 2021

12:00 pm - 1:00 pm Central Time (CT)

View session on the EB Virtual Platform (EB registration required)


The winner of the 2020 Axelrod Award in Pharmacology, P. Jeffrey Conn from the Vanderbilt Center for Neuroscience Drug Discovery, will deliver a lecture titled "Allosteric Modulators of GPCRs as a Novel Approach for Treatment of Schizophrenia."

The Julius Axelrod Award honors the memory of the eminent American pharmacologist who shaped the fields of neuroscience, drug metabolism, and biochemistry and who served as a mentor for numerous eminent pharmacologists around the world. Dr. Conn received this award in recognition of his commitment to academic mentoring of trainees and his cutting-edge research in developing therapies for psychiatric diseases in an academic setting.


P. Jeffrey Conn - Vanderbilt Univ. School of Medicine

Allosteric Modulators of Muscarinic Acetylcholine Receptors as a Novel Approach for Treatment of Schizophrenia

Exciting new clinical and preclinical studies suggest that activators of M1 and/or M4 subtypes of muscarinic acetylcholine receptors (mAChRs) could provide a novel approach for improving psychotic symptoms, as well as cognitive deficits and negative symptoms in patients suffering from schizophrenia. However, a lack of highly selective molecular and genetic probes for each of the individual mAChR subtypes have made it difficult to understand the roles of these two mAChR subtypes in modulating brain circuits and symptom domains that are relevant for schizophrenia. Also, non-selective mAChR agonists suffer from adverse effects due to activation of peripheral mAChR subtypes. We discovered and advanced highly selective positive allosteric modulators (PAMs) for M1 and M4 receptors. Use of these new molecular probes, along with genetic mouse models that allow us to selectively manipulate M1 and M4 signaling in specific brain circuits, are allowing us to make unprecedented advances in our understanding of the specific roles of each receptor in brain circuits that are relevant for schizophrenia, and highly optimized M1 and M4 PAMs are now advancing to clinical testing for potential efficacy in treatment of different symptom domains in schizophrenia patients.

Last Updated: February 8, 2021
Key Dates
April 27 – 30, 2021

ASPET Annual Meeting at EB 2021

Thank you to our Annual Meeting partners: