Dr. Piomelli was trained in neuroscience and pharmacology. Research in his lab is focused on the function of lipid-derived messengers, with particular emphasis on the endogenous cannabinoids anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol. Current research efforts converge on three areas: formation and deactivation of anandamide and 2-arachidonylglycerol; physiological roles of the endogenous cannabinoid system; development of therapeutic agents that target anandamide and 2-arachidonylglycerol metabolism.
Primary neural cell cultures and state-of-the-art analytical techniques such as liquid chromatography/mass-spectrometry are used to investigate formation and deactivation of anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol in brain cells. Protein purification and cloning approaches are employed to characterize the molecular mechanisms underlying these processes. Cellular pharmacology and medicinal chemistry, in collaboration with leading international labs, are used to identify pharmacological agents that interfere with various aspects of endogenous cannabinoid function, and their therapeutic potential is explored in vitro and in vivo.
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