Van Rijn lab (PI - Richard M. van Rijn PhD)
Purdue University, College of Pharmacy, Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology
The mission of the Van Rijn lab is to uncover new strategies to treat psychiatric and neurological disorders. We specifically investigate the heavily co-morbid triad of drug use disorders, chronic pain disorders and mood disorders. Our primary target, the delta opioid receptor, is involved in the neuropharmacology of all three disorders and thus offers an exciting novel approach to treat these disorders. The Van Rijn lab covers all aspects of preclinical drug development including drug synthesis, drug screening, pharmacological characterization both in vitro and in vivo. We also perform mechanistic studies to improve our understanding of the etiology of these disorders.
News - 2017
November 20th, 2017 - Congratulations to Doungkamol "Dr. Nook" Alongkronrusmee for successfully presenting and defending her thesis entitled "Identification of novel therapeutic targets for chronic pain"!
November 11th, 2017 - Congratulations to Mee Jung Ko for successfully defending her original research proposal and becoming an official PhD candidate within the Purdue University Life Sciences program. Way to go Mee Jung!!
October 2nd, 2017 - Congratulations to Meridith Robins for receiving a Kienly Award for Excellence in Teaching, for contributing as a teaching assistant to the success of the MCMP544 course on "Drug Classes and Mechanisms".
September 12th, 2017 - Dr. van Rijn received a $1,700,000 5-year R01 grant from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism to study "G-protein, beta-arrestin and ERK signaling in alcohol use and anxiety disorders".
July 28th, 2017 - Dr. van Rijn has become a member of the executive committee of the Purdue University Interdisciplinary Life Sciences program (PULSe) and the new head of the Integrative Neuroscience training group, representing over 50 neuroscience faculty at Purdue University . He takes over the position from Dr. Cannon who now serves as the director of the PULSe program.
July 11th, 2017 - The Van Rijn lab is out in force at the annual International Narcotics Research Conference in Chicago, with Meridith Robins, Doungkamol Alongkronrusmee and Robert Cassell all presenting posters and Dr. van Rijn giving a talk in a symposium he organized on the role of opioid receptors in alcohol use disorders.
June 28th, 2017 - Meridith Robins won a very competitive and prestigious Enoch Gordis Research Recognition Award at the 2017 Research Society on Alcoholism conference for her presentation entitled "Critical role of Gi-protein signaling in the dorsal striatum in the reduction of voluntary alcohol intake in C57BL/6 mice". Great accomplishment Meridith!
June 22nd, 2017 - Dove Medical Press released a press statement highlighting our recent perspective on the etiology and treatment of neuropathic pain. The press release was covered by several news sites.
June 16th, 2017 - Congratulations to Robert Cassell for successfully defending his original proposal to become a PhD candidate!
May 30th, 2017 - Congratulations to Robert Cassell, Doungkamol Alongkronrusmee and Meredith Robins for receiving travel grants to attend the 2017 International Narcotics Research Conference (INRC) in Chicago.
May 25th, 2017 - Our 2016 Plos One article on caffeine mixed alcohol was in the top 1% most downloaded articles of the year (out of 22,000 total).
May 25th, 2017 - We are 2 for 2: Meridith Robins also received the Bilsland Dissertation fellowship for her thesis research focused on stimulant and alcohol use disorders. Congratulations Meridith!
May 18th, 2017 - Doungkamol Alongkronrusmee received a Certificate of Excellence for her poster presentation at the Office of Interdisciplinary Graduate Students spring symposium on May 3rd. Well done Nook!
May 12th, 2017 - Meridith Robins received a Paget Travel award to attend the annual Society for Neuroscience Conference in Washington DC to present a poster on the "Behavioral and neurochemical analysis of novel psychoactive substance ethylphenidate exposure in adolescent male and female mice". Congrats Meridith!
May 9th, 2017 - George Takei created a video highlighting our research paper on the risks of adolescents consumption of caffeine-mixed alcohol on his facebook page. The video has already been viewed one million times. Meridith's Plos One paper has been viewed over 23,000 times within 1 year of publication.
May 9th, 2017 - Mee Jung Ko received a travel grant from the Purdue Graduate Student Government (PGSG) to attend the annual Society for Neuroscience Conference in Washington DC to present her work on delta opioid receptors and anxiety-like behavior. Congratulations Mee Jung!
May 9th, 2017 - Dr. van Rijn gave a talk entitled "Strong beta-arrestin signaling may cause unwanted effects for drug treatments of alcohol use disorders" that was well received at the Alcoholism and Stress Conference in Volterra, Italy.
May 1st, 2017 - Dr. van Rijn received a summer faculty grant ($8,000) from the Purdue Research Foundation to investigate to what extent beta-arrestin signaling impacts drug-induced seizure activity. Thanks for the support!
April 18th, 2017 - Meridith Robins received a Student Merit travel award from the Research Society on Alcoholism to attend their annual meeting in Denver. Congratulations!
April 17th, 2017 - Doungkamol 'Nook' Alongkronrusmee received the Bilsland Dissertation fellowship for her thesis research focused on the identification and characterization of novel targets for (chronic) pain. Congratulations Nook!
April 14th, 2017 - Mee Jung Ko received a travel grant from the College of Science/PULSe 'Women in Science Program' to attend the Society for Neuroscience conference in Washington DC. Congratulations!
April 7th, 2017 - Dr. van Rijn is a co-investigator on an MCMP research enhancement award ($48,000) on a team including Drs. Watts, Lill and Flaherty to develop and characterize novel adenyly cyclase type 1 selective inhibitors for chronic pain. Thanks for the support!
March 24th, 2017 - Even when she is not feeling 100% Doungkamol Alongkronrusmee shows up to present her poster and walks away with 3rd prize at the Health and Disease poster session. Great job.
March 22nd, 2017 - Meridith Robins has been selected as one of the finalists for the Enoch Gordis graduate research recognition awards at the upcoming conference of the Research Society on Alcoholism in Denver from June 24th-28th. As a finalist, Meridith will present a poster and give an oral presentation on her research studying the effect of biased signaling in the dorsal striatum on alcohol intake. Congratulations!
March 17th, 2017 - Dr. van Rijn was interviewed in the Kelly Cutrara Show for Toronto Talk Radio AM640 to discuss policy under consideration by the Toronto Board of Health restricting marketing and sale of energy drinks to teenagers.
March 3rd, 2017 - Kendall Mores and Ji Won 'Ellen' Ha received Dean Summer Fellowships from the College of Pharmacy to perform research over the summer break. Congrats!
February 28th, 2017 - Doungkamol Alongkronrusmee won the first prize in the Sigma Xi Poster symposium in the Life Sciences category with a poster describing her project on disruption of delta-mu opioid heteromers. Congrats Nook!
February 27th, 2017 - Our recent collaborative publication with Dr. Watts in Science Signaling detailing the discovery of a novel AC1 selective inhibitor was featured in Science magazine.
February 15th, 2017 - MeeJung Ko and Logan Ganzen (Yuk Fai Leung lab - Biological Sciences) have been awarded a $2,000 collaborative research grant from the Purdue Institute for Integrative Neuroscience to develop a "Pharmacological Model of TRPA1-mediated Nociception in the Zebrafish for Therapeutic Discovery". Congratulations MeeJung and Logan!.
January 24th, 2017 - The van Rijn lab was awarded a $15,000 HTS screening grant from the Chemical Genomics Screening Facility of the Purdue Institute for Drug Discovery to discover signaling biased delta opioid receptor drugs as novel therapy for stroke.
January 5th, 2017 - Doungkamol Alongkronrusmee has won a Chaney Graduate Student Travel award to attend the 48th International Narcotics Research Conference and present her research on delta-mu opioid heteromers. Congratulations!
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November 30th, 2017 - A collaborative manuscript by visiting scientist Ricardo Marquez-Gomez describing evidence for the existence of heteromers between adenosine A2a and histamine H3 receptors has been accepted in the journal Pharmacological Research.
January 31st, 2017 - A manuscript, for which we contributed behavioral expertise to the Watts lab, detailing a novel inhibitor of adenylyl cyclase 1 that has analgesic properties has been accepted in Science Signaling.
December 8th, 2016 - Our review on neuropathic pain written together with Lily Zeng MD, resident in Internal Medicine at Vanderbilt University, was accepted in the Journal of Pain Research.
December 8th, 2016 - We contributed to a continued education perspective on heroin use disorder and the evolving role of the pharmacist for the Indiana Pharmacist Alliance
August 15th, 2016 - Our paper detailing the role of the delta opioid receptor in alcohol withdrawal induced hyperalgesia has been accepted by the 'Drug and Alcohol Dependence' journal.
July 21st, 2016 - The Van Rijn lab contributed to a paper in Cell Reports detailing cross-talk between dopamine D3 receptors and calcium Cav3 channels involving beta-arrestin 2.
July 5th, 2016 - Our exciting paper showing potential risks associated with consumption of caffeinated alcohol has been published in PLOS ONE
May 10th, 2016 - Our paper describing our investigation of adolescent energy drink consumption in mice entitled "Adolescent intake of caffeinated energy drinks does not affect adult alcohol consumption in C57BL/6 and BALB/c mice" has been accepted in the Alcohol journal.
October 12th, 2015 - Our latest paper investigating the delta opioid receptor for its potential use as therapeutic for alcohol use disorders entitled "Beta-arrestin 2 dependence of delta opioid receptor agonists is correlated with alcohol intake." has been accepted for publication in the British Journal of Pharmacology.
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Disclaimer of opinion
The information, statements and opinions presented on the the Van Rijn lab website are solely expressed by Dr. van Rijn and do not necessarily represent views held by Purdue University.
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If you appreciate our research and support our goals feel free to donate to the advancement of science. Donations will be used to help support (undergraduate) students and carry out experiments exploring exciting new preliminary projects, currently not funded through other mechanisms.
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