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Alfred Burger Award In Medicinal Chemistry

by Britt E. Erickson
January 23, 2012 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 90, Issue 4

Credit: J. W. Crawford/RTI International
F. Ivy Carroll, distinguished fellow in medicinal chemistry, Research Triangle Institute
Credit: J. W. Crawford/RTI International

Sponsored by GlaxoSmithKline

Best known for his work in developing a diagnostic agent for Parkinson’s disease and treatments for cocaine and nicotine addictions, F. Ivy Carroll is being honored for his numerous contributions to drug discovery and development over his more than 50-year career.

Carroll, 76, joined Research Triangle Institute (RTI) International in 1960 as an organic chemist and has been working there ever since. Currently, he serves as a distinguished fellow in medicinal chemistry.

A major part of Carroll’s research has been the synthesis and pharmacological characterization of 3-phenyltropane analogs. That work led to the development of RTI-55, better known as Dopascan, an imaging agent used to diagnose Parkinson’s.

The 3-phenyltropane research also led to the development of potential therapies for cocaine addiction, including the dopamine transporter selective inhibitor RTI-336. The compound has progressed through Phase I clinical trials, and Carroll hopes the National Institutes of Health will continue clinical development.

More recently, Carroll has been studying opioid receptors—work that has led him to identify the Κ-opioid receptor antagonist JDTic. That compound is currently in Phase I clinical trials for the treatment of cocaine addiction.

Carroll has also been investigating nicotinic receptors with hopes of finding more effective smoking cessation therapies. “JDTic attenuated the physical and affective nicotine withdrawal signs in mice,” he says. “JDTic also has antidepressant and anxiolytic activity in animal tests.”

Philip S. Portoghese, a distinguished professor of medicinal chemistry at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, describes Carroll as “one of the foremost medicinal chemists in the U.S., if not the world.” He has “skillfully and creatively applied his outstanding knowledge of organic chemistry to the design and synthesis of selective ligands for use as tools in multiple areas that include drug abuse and radioimaging agents,” Portoghese says.

Carroll is an internationally recognized medicinal chemist, says Scott P. Runyon, a research scientist at RTI International. “There is no doubt that his scientific contributions will continue to play a major role in advancing the understanding of the scientific basis of drug abuse and will lead to new medications for treatment of this illness.”

After more than 50 years, Carroll continues to search for new therapies for drug addiction. “Having the opportunity to see eight compounds designed in my laboratory progress to human studies was exceptionally rewarding,” he says. “It is also very rewarding to know that my research and recognition from this award will bring more attention to the need for substance abuse treatments.”

Carroll will present the award address before the ACS Division of Medicinal Chemistry.



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