Chemistry and Pharmaceutics Branch (CPB)

What We Do:

The Branch supports research in the areas of medicinal chemistry, analytical chemistry, metabolism, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, pharmacogenetics and pharmaceutics/formulation development aimed at the design, evaluation and development of medications for the treatment of drug addiction.

The CPB supports research and provided services in support of clinical development in the following areas:

  • Medicinal chemistry for the design and synthesis of new chemicals and structural classes with therapeutic potential including the applications of molecular modeling, structure-activity relationships, combinational techniques, and natural product approaches.
  • Pharmaceutics for the design and development of new dosage forms to improve their therapeutic effectiveness and/or to minimize the abuse potential of potential treatment medications.
  • Pharmacokinetics (PK) and pharmacodynamics of potential treatment medications.
  • Pharmacogenetics to investigate the genetic variability affecting pharmacokinetics.
  • Bioanalytical method development for quantifying treatment medications/metabolites, abused drugs and endogenous substances (as biomarkers) in biological fluids.
  • Centralized bioanalytical resources to support PK studies and clinical trials.
  • Bulk chemical synthesis (GMP and non GMP) and clinical dosage forms development and manufacture.
  • Consultation and technical support on the aforementioned capabilities.

Staff Biographies and Research Interests

  • Richard (Rik) Kline, Ph.D., - Branch Chief
    Manages activities and resources of the Branch, including medicinal chemistry, analytical chemistry, dosage form development and production, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, toxicokinetics and metabolism.  Coordinates program activity of the NIDA Drug Supply and Analysis Program.  Responsible for managing a medicinal chemistry effort in support of the addiction treatment discovery program (ATDP). One-year pharmaceutical and two years software development industry experience. Five years academic and government research experience. Joined DTMC in 1998.
  • Feng Li, B.Pharm., M.Sc., Ph.D. - Chemist
    Dr. Li serves as a program officer specializing in formulation and drug-delivery systems for therapeutics for the treatment of substance use disorders. Dr. Li was trained as a pharmaceutical scientist with broad knowledge of drug formulation, pharmaceutics, biopharmaceutics, and pharmacokinetics. Prior to joining NIDA, Dr. Li worked as a faculty member in universities for 11 years and served as the principal investigator or co-investigator of multiple research projects funded by NIH and other agencies. He joined NIDA in 2022.
  • Mary MacDonald, Ph.D. Medicinal Chemist
    Medicinal chemist specializing in drug design, synthesis, data analysis, and lead candidate identification for drug discovery and development of new therapeutics for the treatment of Substance Use Disorders.  Prior to joining NIDA, Dr. MacDonald worked in the pharmaceutical industry for many years then supported government agencies as a contractor.  She joined NIDA in 2020.
  • Charles Marschke, Jr., B.S., - Chemist
    Project Officer for maintaining and distributing compounds under evaluation by the addiction treatment discovery program. Assists in the evaluation of novel biochemical approaches to drug treatment. Responsible for providing technical support for maintenance of structure-activity database and submission and tracking of compounds submitted for preclinical testing. Joined DTMC in 1992.
  • Jason Sousa, Ph.D. Chemist
    Dr. Sousa serves as a program officer specializing in drug metabolism, disposition, and pharmacokinetics for the discovery and development of new therapeutics for the treatment of Substance Use Disorders. An analytical chemist by training, Dr. Sousa provides a broad knowledge of bioanalytical techniques used in drug development. Prior to joining NIDA 13 years as both a contractor and government civilian in preclinical drug development (ADME/PK) with the United States Army. He joined NIDA in 2019.