Ass.-Prof. Mag. Dr. Verena Pichler


Research

We are enthusiastic about neurochemicals acting as agonists or antagonists on G-protein coupled receptors located in the peripheral and central nervous system. Our goal is to address the clinical needs to diagnose and treat the neurological pathologies at the origin of the disease; thus, avoiding a merely systematic treatment and rather stopping or delaying disease progression.

The chemical structure of small molecules is the key for successful drug design and development for both imaging probes and therapeutics. The combined, interdisciplinary knowledge of medicinal chemists, pharmacists and physicians allows drug adjustment and pave the way towards the application of our substances as tools for image-guided therapy.

The bottleneck of the drug development process is the preclinical screening of a compound library, as we still lack substantial methods for a fast and reliable biological assessment. We developed a complex dynamic 3D-cell culture method, which mimics the tissue situation and has the potential to fasten the screening process. Moreover, it conforms with the 3Rs (reduce, replace, refine) rule in animal ethics and will contribute to reduce the number of animals needed in drug testing.

Publications