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Alan P. Kozikowski, Ph.D

Chief Scientific Officer, Professor Emeritus


Dr. Kozikowski is a Global leader in medicinal chemistry designing Novel Chemical Entities (NCEs) for oncology and neuroscience. He worked as a Professor for over 40 years at a number of prestigious universities in the field of medicinal chemistry, and is known for his research on 5-HT receptors, HDAC inhibitors, and GSK-3 inhibitors, and has over 100 patents and over 550 publications under his belt.

Professor Kozikowski is also a serial pharmaceutical entrepreneur and one of the most prolific inventors in the psychedelic drug discovery and development field, having founded and co-founded multiple biotech companies such as Bright Minds Biosciences and StarWise Therapeutic LLC, with hundreds of NCEs designed under his stewardship. A number of his inventions are in various stages of clinical development or are now marketed drugs.

Dr. Kozikowski hold his Ph.D degree from University of California, Berkeley, and pursued his Postdoctoral Research at Harvard University. He is a drug designer with decades of experience. Dr. Kozikowski invented novel HDAC6 inhibitors that repair sensory and motor function in CMT2A animals and in Fragile X syndrome. He has also invented the HDAC6 selective inhibitor, Tubastatin A, that has been used in over 100 studies, in vitro and in vivo, to further probe HDAC6 biology.

Dr. Kozikowski also invented the key urea scaffold used in many current PET imaging agents now in the clinic for prostate cancer diagnosis and therapy in collaboration with Prof. Neale at GUMC. This scaffold is contained in the marketed imaging agent Pylarify. Dr. Kozikowski developed a novel GSK-3 inhibitor at UIC. Phase 2 studies show very promising results in pancreatic cancer patients as well as in melanoma patients. Dr. Kozikowski also invented novel 5HT2c agonists for use in a severe form of childhood epilepsy, namely Dravet syndrome. This drug was initially developed at UIC, and has been advanced to Phase 1 clinical studies. He also invented unique 5-HT2A drug candidates for possible use in PTSD and depression.

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