Drug Development and Chemical Biology Lab

Principle Investigator

PANABC Group Leaders

PETABC Group Leader

  • Peter Brust, PhD


  • Katja Stefan, PhD (Walter Benjamin Fellowship)

Former PostDocs

  • Mirjam Brackhan, PhD, VMD (ABCLRP1 project)
  • Mahmoud Rashed, PhD (PETABC project)


This years TransportDEMENTIA5 meeting will be helt in Tromsø, Norway.

For details check our congress site: www.pahnkelab.eu/td5/


Research agenda

The Drug Development and Chemical Biology lab focusses on neurodegenerative diseases (Alzheimer's, Huntington's and other) and treatment based on small-molecule drug development, rational drug design, the chemical biology of small-molecules, as well as the discovery of bioactive agents with advanced prediction models.

It is supported by a multidisciplinary and translational research environment covering in silico, in vitro, and in vivo techniques for potential drug candidate assessment.

In particular, the lab emphasizes:

  • Structural and functional characterization of drug transporters of the ATP-binding cassette (ABC) and solute carrier (SLC) superfamilies
  • Analysis of physiological and pathological roles of ABC and SLC transporters in neurodegenerative, malignant, and dermatological diseases
  • Development of innovative computational models via data mining and machine learning/artificial intelligence approaches
  • Hit-to-lead optimization via computational chemistry and organic synthesis as well as structure-activity relationships
  • Advanced in vivo mouse models with humanized transporters, e.g., hABCA1, hABCA7, hABCB1, and hABCC1


Currently funded research projects

  • DFG - Die Rolle der Blut-Hirn-Schranke in der Alzheimer Krankheit: Untersuchung der funktionellen Interaktion von LRP1 mit ABC Transporterproteinen (2015 - ) GEPRIS
  • DFG - Design, Synthese und biologische Bewertung von ABC Transporter-Agonisten zur Entwicklung neuer Alzheimer Therapeutika (2020 - ) GEPRIS
  • DFG - Etablierung neuer Detektionsmethoden zur Entdeckung und Entwicklung neuer ABCA1 und ABCA7 Modulatoren als Alzheimer Therapeutika und Diagnostika (2021 - ) GEPRIS
  • DFG - Exploration von Pan-ABC-Transporter-Modulatoren durch innovative In Silico und In Vitro Methoden zur Generierung potentieller Zielstrukturen, Diagnostika und Therapeutika (2022 - ) GEPRIS
  • BMBF / EU / JPND - PETABC: PET analyses of ABC transporter function for diagnostics and stratification of dementia patients (2021- )

  • for further information about all ongoing research projects refer to: www.pahnkelab.eu/funding

Collaboration partners

The Drug Development and Chemical Biology lab is integrative part of our translational research group at the University of Oslo / Oslo University Hospital. In vivo assessment of new compounds to detect treatment effects are performed in closed collaboration with the teams in Oslo and Riga.