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Chemistry and Pharmaceutics Branch (CPB)

What We Do:

The Branch supports research in the areas of medicinal chemistry, analytical chemistry, metabolism, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, pharmacogenetics and pharmaceutics/formulation development aimed at the design, evaluation and development of medications for the treatment of drug addiction.

The CPB supports research and provided services in support of clinical development in the following areas:

  • Medicinal chemistry for the design and synthesis of new chemicals and structural classes with therapeutic potential including the applications of molecular modeling, structure-activity relationships, combinational techniques, and natural product approaches.
  • Pharmaceutics for the design and development of new dosage forms to improve their therapeutic effectiveness and/or to minimize the abuse potential of potential treatment medications.
  • Pharmacokinetics (PK) and pharmacodynamics of potential treatment medications.
  • Pharmacogenetics to investigate the genetic variability affecting pharmacokinetics.
  • Bioanalytical method development for quantifying treatment medications/metabolites, abused drugs and endogenous substances (as biomarkers) in biological fluids.
  • Centralized bioanalytical resources to support PK studies and clinical trials.
  • Bulk chemical synthesis (GMP and non GMP) and clinical dosage forms development and manufacture.
  • Consultation and technical support on the aforementioned capabilities.

Staff Biographies and Research Interests

  • Nora Chiang, Ph.D., - Chief
    Manages activities and resources of the Branch, including medicinal chemistry, analytical chemistry, dosage form development and production, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, toxicokinetics and metabolism. Over twenty years of research experience within NIDA, two years review experience with the Food and Drug Administration and one year research experience with Ciba-Geigy. Joined DPMCDA in 1989.
  • Richard (Rik) Kline, Ph.D., - Medicinal Chemist
    Responsible for managing a medicinal chemistry effort in support of the addiction treatment discovery program (ATDP). Manages and integrates chemical database as well as molecular modeling efforts in support of the ATDP. DPMCDA/NIDA web team liaison. One-year pharmaceutical and two years software development industry experience. Five years academic and government research experience. Joined DPMCDA in 1998.
  • Charles Marschke, Jr., B.S., - Chemist
    Project Officer for maintaining and distributing compounds under evaluation by the addiction treatment discovery program. Assists in the evaluation of novel biochemical approaches to drug treatment. Responsible for providing technical support for maintenance of structure-activity database and submission and tracking of compounds submitted for preclinical testing. Joined DPMCDA in 1992.
  • Moo Kwang Park, Ph.D., - Program Director for Pharmaceutics and Clinical Supplies
    Responsible for planning, directing, monitoring and evaluating research, development and manufacture of new and improved drug products for drug abuse treatment programs. Also responsible for key aspects of the pharmacokinetics research program related to the discovery and development of new medications. Oversees and coordinates the manufacturing, procurement and distribution of clinical supplies. Eighteen years of industrial experience in pharmaceutical product R&D and 10 years of FDA experience in Bioequivalence before joining DPMCDA in 1998.
  • Amrat P. Patel, Ph.D., - Pharmacologist
    Serves as project officer for ADME and Pharmacokinetics for drug abuse treatment programs related to the discovery and development of new medications. Serves on Safety Assessment Candidate Team, and other specific project teams. Ten years of research experience in receptor pharmacology and drug abuse research at University of Virginia and the NIDA Intramural Research Program. Two years of FDA experience in bioequivalence. Joined DPMCDA in 1998.
  • Ming L. Shih, Ph.D., - Program Director of Research Grants in Medicinal Chemistry
    Oversees, reviews, and manages a grant portfolio for the synthesis and pre-clinical evaluation of novel chemical compounds for the treatment of drug dependence. Supervises contracts involving analytical methodology for bioanalytical monitoring and illicit drug screening. Twenty years of R & D experience in medication and diagnostic device development in the Department of Defense and 5 years of clinical trial experience in the drug addiction field before joining DPMCDA in 2005.

This page was last updated December 2011

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