Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
Alumni Association

Kenneth J. Valenzano, Ph.D.

 Kenneth Valenzano earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree in 1996 under the guidance of Dr. Peter Lobel in the Pharmacology program that is joint with Rutgers University.  As part of his dissertation research, he pioneered development of new analytical methods that later were central to the Lobel laboratory’s success in identifying the genetic basis for two human hereditary neurodegenerative diseases.
Dr. Valenzano went on to complete his postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Dr. Marc Caron at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at Duke University.  While at Duke, Dr. Valenzano made major contributions in investigating the regulation of the D2 and VIP signal transduction pathways as well as characterizing defects in a dopamine transporter that is associated with the etiology of attention hyperactivity deficit disorder.

Dr. Valenzano moved to the industrial sector in 1998 as a Research Scientist at Pharmacopeia, a small biotech company utilizing combinatorial chemistry and high-throughput screening to expedite the drug discovery process.  Here his research focus was on identification of small molecule agonists for the follicle-stimulating hormone and melanocortin 4 receptors.  In 1999 he moved to Purdue Pharma to establish the Molecular Pharmacology department.  At Purdue, his research predominantly focused on the identification of novel treatments for pain, with emphasis on opioid, cannabinoid and vanilloid receptor targets.  In 2005, he joined Amicus Therapeutics as Director of Pharmacology.  Amicus is an up-and-coming biotech organization focused on the use of pharmacological chaperones for the treatment of human genetic diseases.  Their focus is currently on both mutant enzymes and GPCRs.