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Dai Lu, Ph.D.

Dai Lu, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences

1010 West Avenue B, MSC 131
Kingsville, Texas 78363
Phone: (361) 221-0745
Fax: (361) 221-0793
Email: dlu@tamhsc.edu

Education and Post-Graduate Training

Instructor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School (2007-2011)

Senior Chemist, Center for Neurologic Disease, Brigham and Women’s Hospital & Harvard Medical School (2006-2011)

Research Fellow, Harvard Medical School (2006-2007)

Postdoctoral Fellow, National Institute of Health and Northeastern University (2005-2006)


Ph.D., Pharmaceutical Sciences/Medicinal Chemistry, University of Connecticut (2005)

M.S., Medicinal Chemistry, Peking Union Medical College, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing, China (1991)

B.S., Organic Chemistry, Nankai University, Tianjin, China (1987)

Teaching Interests

  • Entry level and advanced medicinal and organic chemistry
  • Pharmacology of drugs for oncology, diabetes and neurodegenerative diseases
  • Small-molecule drug design
  • Pharmaceutical sciences related to nanomedicine

Research Interests

The research of Dr. Lu’s lab is primarily in the interface of organic/medicinal chemistry and biomedical sciences. Within this broad context, Dr. Lu’s lab is focused on discovery of novel small-molecule drug entities and protein/polymer-based nanomedicine for cancer and protein-misfolding related disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson's disease and type II diabetes etc. The therapeutic targets for pertaining research projects include microtubule, protein kinases, cannabinoid receptors, acetylcholinesterase, and certain amyloidal proteins. In chemical matters, natural products and their derivatives as well as some hits from structure-based drug screening are employed in the lab to identify novel leads for synthesizing and developing potential therapeutic agents to treat and manage the above diseases. Organic synthesis, drug-screening through bioassays, and nanofabrication are three key components of his lab’s research technologies. Currently, four projects are under investigation in Dr. Lu’s laboratory.

Selected Publications

  1. Augelli-Szafran CE, Wei HX, Lu D, Zhang J, Gu Y, Yang T, Wolfe MS. “Discovery of Notch-Sparing γ-Secretase Inhibitors.” Curr. Alzheimer Res., 2010, 7:207-9.
  2. Dai Lu, Jian-Xin Guo, Richard I. Duclos, Jr., Anna Bowmann, Alexandros Makriyannis, “Bornyl and Isobornyl-∆8-tetrahydrocannabinol: A novel class of cannabinergic ligands.” J. Med. Chem. 2008, 51(20): 6393-99.
  3. Richard I. Duclos, Jr., Dai Lu, Jianxin Guo, and Alexandros Makriyannis, “Synthesis and characterization of 2-substituted bornane pharmacophores for novel cannabinergic ligands.” Tetrahedron Lett. 2008, 49: 5587-89.
  4. Atmaram Khanolkar, Dai Lu, Mohab Ibrahim, Richard I. Duclos, Jr., Ganesh A. Thakur, Vijayabaskar Veerappan, Xiaoyu Tian, Philip Malan, Jr., Frank Porreca, Clifford George, Damon A. Parrish, and Alexandros Makriyannis, “Cannabilactones: A novel class of CB2 selective agonists with peripheral analgesic activity.” J. Med. Chem. 2007, 50(26): 6493-500.
  5. Dai Lu, Venkata Kiran Vemuri, Richard Duclos Jr. and Alexandros Makriyannis, “Cannabinergic system as a target for anti-inflammatory therapies.” Curr. Top. Med. Chem. 2006; 6(13): 1401-26.
  6. Dai Lu, Zhaoxing Meng, Ganesh A. Thakur, Pushang Fan, John Steed, Cindy L. Tartal, Dow P. Hurst, Patricia H. Reggio, Jeffrey R. Deschamps, Damon A. Parrish, Clifford George, Torbjörn U.C. Järbe, Richard J. Lamb, and Alexandros Makriyannis, “Adamantyl Cannabinoids: A Novel Class of Cannabinergic Ligands.” J. Med. Chem. 2005, 48(14): 4576-85.
  7. Qian Liu, Donghui Wang, Chun Li, Dai Lu, Weijun Wang, Jiyu Guo, “Synthesis and CNS activities of alpha-agarofuran derivatives.” Chin. J. Med. Chem, 2003, 13(3): 125-30.

Selected Patents

  1. Alexandros Makriyannis, Dai Lu, Xin-Zhong Lai “Keto Cannabinoids with Therapeutic Indications.” U.S. Patent: 7,183,313, 2007.
  2. Alexandros Makriyannis, Dai Lu, Atmaram Khanolkar, “Novel Analgesic and Immunomodulatory Cannabinoids.” US Patent: 6,939,977, 2005.
  3. Alexandros Makriyannis, Atmaram Khanolkar, Dai Lu, “Novel Cannabinoids Selective for the CB2 Receptor.” U.S. Patent: 6,166,066. 2000.

National Service/Recognition

  • National Research Service Award for Postdoctoral Trainee, NIH, 2005
  • Boehringer Ingelheim Young Research Fellow Award, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals Inc, 1999, 2000