Biography and Research Summary
Prior to joining the Scripps Research Institute in July 2005, Dr. LoGrasso was a Program Director at the NIH in the National Institute of General Medical Sciences responsible for a $50MM portfolio of grants in medicinal chemistry, pharmacology, and chemical biology.
In his most recent industrial position Dr. LoGrasso was the Director of preclinical research and development at Avera Pharmaceuticals, a CNS drug development company, responsible for pharmacology, toxicology, ADME, and pharmaceutics that led to one Phase I development candidate and one Phase II development candidate.
Prior to joining Avera, Dr. LoGrasso was a Research Fellow at Merck Research Laboratories for nearly 9 years working in the areas of inflammation and molecular neuroscience. In this capacity he was responsible for biochemical evaluation of preclinical drug candidates and novel target discovery efforts. His main research focus was on MAP-kinase signal transduction pathways and associated mechanistic enzymology, inhibitor characterization, and structure-function relationships for MAP-kinases. In addition, he led a team dedicated to the discovery of novel enzyme targets for neurodegeneration, anxiety, and depression.
Dr. LoGrasso received his Ph.D. in pharmacology from the University of Florida in 1992. This was followed by post-doctoral training at the Sandoz Research Institute (now Novartis) working in the area of atherosclerosis and metabolic disease focusing on enzymes in the cholesterol biosynthetic pathway.
Our current research focus is centered on drug discovery and basic research questions for kinases involved in neurodegeneration, inflammation, cardiovascular disease, glaucoma, and oncology. Basic research studies are centered on enzyme/substrate structure-function relationships, splice variant function, mitochondrial dysfunction, neurite outgrowth, and smooth muscle cell contraction. We utilize molecular biology, enzymology, receptor pharmacology, structure-based drug design, and in vivo pharmacology to discover potential drug leads, optimize these leads to preclinical candidacy, and further develop these compounds so that an IND can be submitted to the FDA for testing in humans.
See more details in our research section.