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Intl pharmacology expert to present Mechoulam lecture at 2018 ICR Conference

Release Date: November 01, 2017

Cora Zaletel

Executive Director, External Affairs

Colorado State University-Pueblo


Vincenzo Di Marzo

International pharmacology expert to present Mechoulam lecture at 2018 ICR Conference

PUEBLO – An internationally recognized authority on endocannabinoid pharmacology will present the second annual Mechoulam Lecture as part of the 2018 Institute of Cannabis Research (ICR) Conference, April 26-28, at Colorado State University-Pueblo.

Dr. Vincenzo Di Marzo, a prolific researcher in pharmacology, biochemistry and neuroscience, will present the Mechoulam Lecture on April 28, 2018. According to CSU-Pueblo Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Rick Kreminski, along with authoring hundreds of peer-reviewed scientific articles and editing several books, Di Marzo is co-inventor on more than a dozen patents for the possible use of cannabinoids in the treatment of diseases such as various cancers, neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, and muscular dystrophy.

DiMarzo serves as director of the Institute of Biomolecular Chemistry of the National Research Council (ICB-CNR) in Pozzuoli, Italy, and coordinator of the Endocannabinoid Research Group in the Naples area; he also holds a Canada Excellence Research Chair at the Université Laval in Quebec. A 2007 recipient of the International Cannabinoid Research Society’s Mechoulam Award, for his outstanding contribution to research on the cannabinoid system, Di Marzo was named in 2010 by Thomson Reuters as the top scientist of the decade for pharmacology and toxicology. A prolific author, Di Marzo is among the most-cited researchers in the world, with more than 60,000 citations.

Di Marzo received a Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular pharmacology from Imperial College London in 1988. Two years later, he finished postdoctoral studies in lipid biochemistry and natural products chemistry at ICB-CNR. Di Marzo has received numerous research grants, including a Human Frontier Science Program grant to study the biosynthesis, metabolism, and structure-activity relationships of endocannabinoids.

In his role at Laval, Di Marzo is a professor in the university’s faculties of medicine, and agriculture and food science. His research chair position, in what is known as the Microbiome-Endocannabinoidome Axis in Metabolic Health, is the first research group in the world dedicated to studying intestinal microbiota and their impacts on obesity-related inflammation, the development of Type 2 diabetes, and cardiometabolic disease. The group aims to discover new therapeutic approaches, and to develop innovative nutritional and medical strategies.

Working in this context, Di Marzo aims to concentrate on the link between the intestinal microbiome and the endocannabinoid system. This system is a crucial player in controlling and managing energy metabolism, as it intervenes in all aspects of energy homeostasis, and its activity is modulated by stress factors and changes in diet.

According to Kreminski, the inaugural ICR 2017 Conference attracted more than 500 attendees and researchers from every field of cannabis expertise. The three-day ICR 2018 conference will allow cannabis experts to share knowledge about scientific, medical, industrial, legal, economic, and social elements of cannabis research. The conference’s opening address will be presented by Pueblo native Audra Stinchcomb, professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Maryland  School of Pharmacy on April 26. Her research has focused on the influence of prodrug physicochemical properties on skin flux, distribution, and metabolism.

The ICR at CSU-Pueblo invites submissions of 250-500 word abstracts for oral or poster presentations, proposals to lead a discussion panel, or academic papers. Categories include the following aspects of cannabis research:

  • Industrial, agricultural, and engineering
  • Scientific and medical
  • Economic and business
  • Social, behavioral, education, and public health
  • Ethics, regulation, legalization, and public policy
  • Experiential knowledge: research, teaching, and learning
  • Other relevant research topics

The deadline for abstract submission is February 15, 2018. All submissions will undergo a peer-reviewed selection process.

Open Conference Abstract Submission Site

About the Institute

Research agreements with Pueblo County and the State of Colorado in 2016 brought resources to help establish the ICR, the nation’s first cannabis research center at a regional, comprehensive institution. Research topics range from neuroscience research on cannabinoid receptors to studies on industrial hemp. County-requested impact studies include power and water usage impacts, optimal buffer zones between approved sites growing low and high THC cannabis, as well as the social and economic impacts on the community. The State of Colorado contributed $1.8 million to the Institute’s second year of operation.

Colorado State University-Pueblo is committed to excellence, setting the standard for regional comprehensive universities in teaching, research, and service by providing leadership and access for its region, while maintaining its commitment to diversity.

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