The MRI Team

PROFESSIONAL PERSONNEL

Dr. Timothy M. DeLorey, Senior Scientist. Dr. DeLorey is a molecular neuropharmacologist with extensive experience in the study of the GABA(A) receptor complex. Much of his work has centered on how defects in this system can contribute to human disorders, such as epilepsy, autism and Angelman syndrome. Autism is a disorder of neural information processing with a prevalence rate of 1 in 250 births whereas, Angelman syndrome occurs 1 in every 10,000 births and results in severe mental retardation and epilepsy. In addition, another ongoing investigation in Dr. DeLorey's laboratory addresses the modulatory influence that the GABAergic system exerts over learning and memory processes. This information could conceivably be used in the development of novel approaches aimed at lessening the cognitive decline associated with disorders such as senile dementia of the Alzheimer's type.

Dr. Danni L. Harris, Senior Scientist. Dr. Harris is a computational chemist with extensive experience in the study of the heme proteins and computational pharmacology. His interests related to heme proteins include: 1) the characterization of reaction pathways of cytrochrome P450s with monoxygenase and unusual reductase (nitric oxide reductase: P450nor) function, thiolate heme proteins (nitric oxide synthase), and peroxidases; 2) determination of the structure, spectra and properties of transient intermediates using diverse quantum chemical, and molecular dynamics methods; 3) development of robust methods of construction and assessment of 3D models of mammalian P450s, and 4) development of methods for prediction of products of metabolism of heme proteins. He is currently working on new computational approaches for: 1) development of behaviorally selective benzodiazepines, including novel agents potentially important in remediation of effects due to Alzheimers (collaboration with Dr. T. Delorey and Dr. J. Lameh), and 2) development of novel agents which inhibit growth in breast cancer cell lines (collaboration with Dr. Marcia Dawson, Burnham Institute).

Dr. David E. Woon, Senior Scientist & Director of Scientific Affairs. Dr. Woon is an ab initio quantum chemist. His research effort involves characterizing the electronic structure of molecular systems in a variety of contexts, with a particular focus on interstellar chemistry in both the gas and condensed phases with relevance to astrobiology and the study of planetary atmospheres. In addition to astrochemistry, he contributes to studies of peroxidase and P450 enzymes. Dr. Woon also has long-standing interests in weakly interacting species and molecular spectroscopy. He contributed extensively to the development of correlation consistent basis sets, an important technology for making accurate predictions of molecular properties.