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Palmer Taylor, Ph.D.
Distinguished Professor - Sandra & Monroe Trout Chair in Pharmacology Founding Dean, Emeritus - Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

Research Interests

Our laboratory is interested in the structure and function of receptors, enzymes and adhesion molecules involved in neurotransmission and synapse function. We have been studying functional coupling of receptors to cellular responses, specificity of ligand recognition by nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and acetylcholinesterase, and the structures of cholinesterases, neuroligins and nicotinic receptors. With Barry Sharpless’ group at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI), we have employed these molecules as templates for “freeze-frame, click chemistry” synthesis of selective agonists and antagonists. Another area of investigation involves the regulation of expression of the genes encoding these proteins during differentiation and synaptogenesis in neurons, skeletal muscle and hematopoietic cells.


Selected Publications

Miller, M.T., Mileni, M., Comoletti, D., Stevens, R., Harel, M., Taylor, P. The crystal structure of the α-neurexin-1 extracellular region reveals a hinge point for mediating synaptic adhesion and function. Structure, 19, 767-778 (2011). Cover Article.

Bourne, Y., Sulzenbacher, G., Radic’, Z., Ara’oz, R., Reynaud, M., Benoit, E., Zakarian, A., Servent, D., Molgo’, J., Taylor, P., Marchot, P. Marine Macrocyclic Imines, Pinnatoxins A and G: Structural Determinants and Functional Properties to Distinguish Neuronal α7 from Muscle α1γβδο nicotinic AChRs. Structure 23(6):1106-1015 (2015).

Bourne, Y., Sharpless, K.B., Taylor, P., Marchot, P. Steric and Dynamic Parameters Influencing in situ Cycloadditions to Form Triazole Inhibitors with Crystalline Acetylcholinesterase. J Amer Chem Soc. 138(5):1611-1621 DOI: 10.1021/jacs.5b11384 (2016)

Kaczanowska K, Camacho Hernandez GA, Bendiks L, Kohs L, Cornejo-Bravo JM, Harel M, Finn MG, Taylor P. Substituted 2-Aminopyrimidines Selective for α7-Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor Activation and Association with Acetylcholine Binding Proteins. J Am Chem Soc. 139(10):3676-3684. doi: 10.1021/jacs.6b10746 (2017).

Sit RK, Kovarik Z, Maček Hrvat N, Žunec S, Green C, Fokin VV, Sharpless KB, Radić Z, Taylor P. Pharmacology, Pharmacokinetics, and Tissue Disposition of Zwitterionic Hydroxyiminoacetamido Alkylamines as Reactivating Antidotes for Organophosphate Exposure. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 367(2):363-372. doi: 10.1124/jpet.118.249383. Epub (2018).

Kovarik Z, Kalisiak J, Hrvat NM, Katalinić M, Zorbaz T, Žunec S, Green C, Radić Z, Fokin VV, Sharpless KB, Taylor P. Reversal of Tabun Toxicity Enabled by a Triazole-Annulated Oxime Library-Reactivators of Acetylcholinesterase. Chemistry. 25(16):4100-4114. doi: 10.1002/chem.201805051. Epub 2019



Cancer Biology
Cardiovascular & Metabolic Diseases
Immunology, Inflammation, & Infectious Diseases
Neuropharmacology & Neurological Disorders


Signaling & Molecular Pharmacology


(858) 534-1366


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