NMDA Receptor Pharmacology and Drug Discovery
Costa lab is interested in developing novel treatment strategies for neurological disorders that affect human beings and other animals. With this aim, we are studying a family of glutamate and glycine gated excitatory neurotransmitter receptor expressed throughout the mammalian central nervous system. This N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) binding protein is known as NMDA receptor. Normal activation of this receptor is essential for higher order brain functions including cognition, decision making, simulating future events by consolidating memories from the present and past experiences. Dysfunction of NMDA receptor is implicated in several neurological and psychiatric disorders. Costa and colleagues work to identify drug-like compounds to modulate NMDA receptors. As a remarkable outcome of continued effort, their team discovered a novel family of negative and positive allosteric NMDA receptor modulators that remained a challenge. These compounds and knowledge on their putative binding sites helped to develop modulators with selectivity towards different subtypes of NMDA receptors. To translate these compounds into clinically useful drug candidates, currently studying them on in-vitro and in-vivo models of neurological and other disorders that affect human lives.
Lab location: Rm#102, COHR Building , Internal mail code:0342