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Ali Gregro

Drug Discovery Scientist II

Franklin & Marshall College, 2002
B.A. Chemistry

Phone: (615) 322-7415
Fax: (615) 778-1414
Location: Cool Springs Innovation Park

Mailing Address:
Vanderbilt University/VCNDD
Cool Springs Innovation Park
393 Nichol Mill Lane, Room 1000
Franklin, TN 37067

Biosketch and Research Interests

Ali received her B.A. in Chemistry from Franklin & Marshall College in 2002 where she earned a Beckman Scholarship for research in inorganic spectroscopy and also completed research in organic synthesis. She was then hired at Merck & Co. (West Point, PA) as a Research Chemist in the Medicinal Chemistry Department where she worked for 10 years serving on projects in neuroscience and infectious disease. She was responsible for small molecule synthesis, SAR development, target design, and scale-up projects for multiple pre-clinical candidates. She served as Chair of the Merck Medicinal Chemistry Department for two years and also served on the MRL Safety Committee for the West Point site.

In 2012, she joined VCNDD as a Drug Discovery Scientist I. She began work on a positive allosteric modulator of muscarinic acetylcholine receptor 1 (M1) for Alzheimer’s disease and schizophrenia, and completed an animal study scale-up of the current lead compound which will be entering the clinic next year. She currently works on the M4 positive allosteric modulator project and serves as Safety manager for the VCNDD Chemistry group.

Selected Publications

Stachel, S.J.; Coburn, C.A.; Steele, T.G.; Jones, K.G.; Loutzenhiser, E.F.; Gregro, A.R.; Rajapakse, H.A.; Lai, M.; Crouthamel, M.; Xu, M.; Tugusheva, K.; Lineberger, J.E.; Pietrak, B.L.; Espeseth, A.S.; Shi, X.; Chen-Dodson, E.; Holloway, M.K.; Munshi, S.; Simon, A.J.; Kuo, L.; Vacca, J.P. ‘Structure-Based Design of Potent and Selective Cell-Permeable Inhibitors of Human β-Secretase (BACE-1).’ Journal of Medicinal Chemistry (2004); 47(26): 6447–6450. {DOI: 10.1021/jm049379g; PMID: 15588077}

Stauffer, S.R.; Stanton, M.G.; Gregro, A.R.; Steinbeiser, M.A.; Shaffer, J.R.; Nantermet, P.G.; Barrow, J.C.; Rittle, K.E.; Collusi, D.; Espeseth, A.S.; Lai, M.T.; Pietrak, B.L.; Holloway, M.K.; McGaughey, G.B.; Munshi, S.K.; Hochman, J.H.; Simon, A.J.; Selnick, H.G.; Graham, S.L.; Vacca, J.P. ‘Discovery and SAR of isonicotinamide BACE-1 inhibitors that bind beta-secretase in a N-terminal 10-s loop down conformation’ Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters (2007); 17(6): 1788-1792. {DOI: 10.1016/j.bmcl.2006.12.051; PMID: 17257835}

Rajapakse, H.A.; Walji, A.M.; Moore, K.P.; Zhu, H.; Mitra, A.W.; Gregro, A.R.; Tinney, E.; Burlein, C.; Touch, S.; Paton, B.L.; Carroll, S.S.; DiStefano, D.J.; Lai, M.; Grobler, J.A.; Sanchez, R.I.; Williams, T.M.; Vacca, J.P.; Nantermet, P.G.; ‘Strategies towards Improving the Pharmacokinetic Profile of ε-Substituted Lysinol-Derived HIV Protease Inhibitors’ ChemMedChem (2011); 6(2): 253-527. {DOI: 10.1002/cmdc.201000395; PMID: 21275047}