Kieran is a PhD candidate at the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences in Victoria, Australia. His research focuses on using structural biology methods to understand the diverse pharmacology of G protein-coupled receptors, with a particular focus on partial agonists of the cannabinoid receptors, such as THC. Prior to this, he obtained a Masters in Pharmacology from the University of Auckland, New Zealand, investigating the clinical toxicology of rare adverse drug reactions to the antipsychotic drug clozapine. Kieran is deeply interested in all aspects of psychoactive compounds, from fundamental biochemistry to clinical safety.
Allosteric modulation is a promising way to target the receptors of psychoactive substances, such as CB1R, for therapeutic use. However, it is difficult to design safe, effective allosteric compounds. New high-resolution structures of CB1R provide insight into a way forward for drug discovery.