Does technology make our lives simpler, more efficient or does it drive us to distraction and muddle our brains? The debate is never-ending (and definitely not as black and white), but one thing we know for certain, path breaking technologies are revolutionizing the worlds within which we live. Over the past 25 years, we have roved Mars, designed self driving cars, and 3D printed organs. We can modify genes, stream movies, and Amazon everything — but, amidst ever-increasing automation, we have plagued ourselves with lifestyle diseases such as obesity, metabolic syndrome, and substance abuse.
Dr. Ganesh Thakur, Associate Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences at Northeastern University, is committed to addressing these grave afflictions. Leveraging the boon of technology to mitigate the bane of technology, Thakur has focused his research on the Cannabinoid 1 (CB1) receptor. The CB1 receptor is involved in brain functions like “rewards, learning, memory, motor control, and addiction,”* and has been a frequent target for therapeutic development in respect to neuropathic pain, appetite control, and neurodegeneration. However frequent the attempts, efficient binding to the CB1 receptor has remained elusive.
Thakur has discovered success where others have failed. Instead of targeting the highly selective and conservative orthosteric binding sites of the Cb1 receptor, Thakur concentrates on the more hospitable allosteric binding sites. This “flip of the script” enables modification of the CB1 receptor configuration thereby permitting the introduction of therapeutics without toxic effect.
In a time troubled by substance abuse, obesity, and neurodegenerative disease, Ganesh Thakur’s “Allosteric Modulators of the Cannabinoid 1 Receptor” represents technology at its best: technology that aims to alleviate suffering, create therapeutic pathways, and engender hope in healing.
Want more information about this tech? Email Mark Saulich regarding “Allosteric Modulators of the Cannabinoid 1 Receptor.”