CNSI Noble Fund researchers work to develop an opioid drug that has very low abuse potential

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Professor Heather Maynard is part of a team researchers whose Nobel Fund project is seeking to curb opioid addiction by rendering the drug inactive unless taken orally, as well as slowing the release into the body, which has the potential to reduce abuse of the drug.

The team’s goal is to provide a drug for physicians to use for traumatic and post-operative pain that has very low abuse potential so they don’t have to worry about their patients becoming addicted or misusing their opioids.

In a new Nobel Fund video, Maynard and collaborator Professor Catherine Cahill from UCLA Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, discuss their project.

Maynard is one of seven Chemistry & Biochemistry faculty members selected to receive CNSI Noble Family Innovation Fund grants for their nanoscience research projects in 2021. The Noble Family Innovation Fund, established with a $10 million philanthropic commitment to the California NanoSystems Institute at UCLA, supports basic and translational research involving interactions on the nanoscale – measured in billionths of a meter. Funding is earmarked for projects with substantial promise for commercialization and societal impact. The goal is to create a model for academic research and entrepreneurship that enables strategic investment to seed discoveries that have the potential to be translated for the public good.

A worldwide leader in the area of drug delivery, Maynard holds UCLA’s Dr. Myung Ki Hong Endowed Chair in Polymer Science.  She is Director of the National Institutes of Health funded Chemistry Biology Interface Training Program and Associate Director for the California NanoSystems Institute at UCLA.  Maynard is also the co-Director of the $23.7 million NSF funded BioPACIFIC Materials Innovation Platform at UCLA and UCSB.