James Guy Breitenbucher, PhD

Professor, Department of Neurology

Dr. Breitenbucher joined the faculty of the IND in 2018 with 23 years of experience as a medicinal chemist in the pharmaceutical industry. Guy received his BS and MS in chemistry from California State University, Long Beach, and received his PhD from UC Riverside, where he worked on the synthesis of alkaloid natural products in the labs of Prof. Steve Angle. After receiving his PhD, Guy continued his studies as a postdoctoral fellow with Prof. Clayton Heathcock at UC Berkeley, working on the total synthesis of the anticancer natural product Discodermolide. Dr. Breitenbucher then joined the medicinal chemistry department at Bristol Myers Squibb in Connecticut, where he worked on antagonists of neuropeptide receptors for the treatment of obesity and diabetes. Later, Guy joined Axys Pharmaceuticals and worked in the department of combinatorial chemistry making significant contributions to drug discovery programs to treat cancer and osteoporosis.

In 1999, Guy joined Johnson & Johnson (J&J) Pharmaceutical Research and Development in San Diego, CA. At J&J, he took on roles as the head of Hit-to-Lead chemistry, and later as Director of Chemistry for the Pain Therapeutic area. Dr. Breitenbucher led numerous drug discovery projects at J&J resulting in the notable discovery of J&J’s first clinical TRPV1 antagonist for pain and J&J's first clinical FAAH inhibitor for the treatment of PTSD. In 2010, Guy moved to Dart NeuroScience (DNS) to become Senior Director of Discovery Chemistry. In this role, Guy managed all aspects of DNS’s chemistry efforts. Guy’s DNS teams discovered and developed four compounds currently in clinical trials for stroke, cognitive impairment associated with schizophrenia (CIAS), and Parkinson’s disease. Dr. Breitenbucher’s work is documented in over 50 peer-reviewed scientific publications and 45 patents.

At the IND, Dr. Breitenbucher manages the drug-discovery chemistry effort of the institute focused on the discovery of novel therapeutics for the treatment of neurodegenerative disease.


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