Assistant Professor, Gregory C. Sartor, Secures $2.4 million in Research Funding

Gregory C. Sartor, Assistant Professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, has received $2.4 million in funding from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).

Sartor’s proposal, titled Domain- and Protein-Selective BET Mechanisms in Cocaine-Seeking Behaviors, aims to uncover novel epigenetic mechanisms and treatments for substance abuse disorder (SUD).

Despite ongoing drug epidemics, there are a limited number of effective clinical treatments for SUD. Epigenetic-based therapeutics for SUD is an emerging research area, but many of these epigenetic inhibitors have side effects, which drastically limits their use in humans. In a recent study, Sartor’s lab found that RVX-208, a domain-selective BET inhibitor, reduces cocaine seeking without causing side effects associated with first-generation BET inhibitors. Building on these novel findings, his current grant aims to further investigate the importance of individual BET proteins and domains in cocaine-seeking behaviors.

“With this funding, we will test selective, epigenetic-based therapeutics in advanced models of SUD,” says Sartor. “Additionally, through proteomic and single-cell transcriptomic studies, our goal is to identify novel molecular mechanisms of action that drive cocaine use. Ultimately, we would like to use this information to develop new and effective treatments for substance abuse.”