Michael Hooker Distinguished Professor
Area of interest
I have studied molecular neuropharmacology for more than 30 years. Most recently, my lab invented the DREADD (Designer Receptor Exclusively Activated by Designer Drug) technology. DREADDs represent a novel synthetic biological tool-kit which enables the non-invasive remote control of neuronal signaling via orthologous ligand-receptor pairs. Since the introduction of the DREADD approach in 2007, we have shared this technology with nearly 300 different labs around the world. My lab also pioneered a novel chemical biological platform we refer to as ‘receptorome profiling’ which allows my lab (and our many collaborators) to identify molecular targets for novel biological entities across a large number of neuronal molecular targets. Over the past 3.5 years, via the shared resources of the National Institute of Mental Health’s Psychoactive Drug Screening Program (NIMH-PDSP) we have collaborated with nearly 400 labs world-wide.
Awards and Honors
- Highly Cited Researchers (Top 1%), Web of Science, Clarivate Analytics, 2022
- PhRMA Foundation Excellence in Pharmacology Award, 2011
- Irving Page Lecture, Serotonin Club Meeting, Montreal, 2010
- Lowenthal Lecture, Medical College of Virginia Neurosciences Symposium, 2010
- Plenary Lecturer Medical University of South Carolina Neurosciences Retreat, 2009
- NARSAD Distinguished Investigator Award, 2008
- Michael Hooker Distinguished Professor, UNC-Chapel Hill, 2007-present
- Plenary Lecturer, Roche Pharmaceuticals Global Research, Palo Alto, 2007
- Prestige Lecture Université de Montréal, 2007
- SG Fergusson Memorial Lecture, Robarts Institute, 2006
- Chauncy Leake Memorial Lecturer, Univ. Texas Medical Branch, 2005
- Yale BSTP Distinguished Lecturer, 2005
- NARSAD Independent Investigator, 1998-2000
- Heffter Research Institute Award for Outstanding Basic Science Research, 1999
- National Institute of Mental Health Career Development Award (KO2), 1996-2006
- Sandoz Investigator, NARSAD, 1993-1994
- NARSAD Young Investigator, 1992-1994;
- Dana Foundation Fellowship in Neurosciences, Stanford University, 1989-1991
- ACNP Travel Fellow 1990
- Phi Beta Kappa, 1983
- March of Dimes Research Fellowship, 1977
News and Stories
UNC Lineberger faculty recognized as world’s most highly cited researchers
Twelve UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center members were named to Clarivate’s 2022 Highly Cited Researchers list.
UNC Lineberger faculty recognized as being among the world’s most influential researchers
Fifteen UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center members were named as 2021 Highly Cited Researchers by Clarivate for publishing some of the most influential scientific papers during the past decade.
Expertscape recognizes UNC Lineberger faculty as top-rated experts in their fields
Expertscape rated 12 UNC Lineberger faculty members as top-rated experts in their fields for its 2021 rankings.
UNC Lineberger faculty among the most highly cited scientists worldwide
Clarivate’s 2020 Highly Cited Researchers list recognized 15 UNC Lineberger members for publishing some of the most influential scientific papers the past decade.