Steven R. Childers, Ph.D.

Chief Research Officer

​Dr. Childers, has published more than 150 peer-reviewd manuscripts on the neuropharmacological and biochemical mechanisms of drugs of abuse including psychostimulants, cannabinoids, and opioids as well as the mechanisms of chronic drug actions on the brain. He is widely regarded as an expert in the field of biochemical neuropharmacology.

In 1999, Dr. Childers served as a member of the panel of scientific experts that generated the report on Marijuana and Medicine for the Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences. He has served as a Member of Scientific Advisory Board at Ventaira Pharmaceuticals, Inc. since 2007.
Dr. Childers currently serves as Director of the Center for the Neurobiology of Addiction Treatment, funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), and as Professor in the Department of Physiology & Pharmacology at Wake Forest School of Medicine. He earned his B.S. in chemistry from the University of Texas at Austin in 1972 and his Ph.D. in physiological chemistry from the University of Wisconsin in 1976 before completing a postdoctoral fellowship under Dr. Solomon Snyder at Johns Hopkins University in 1979.

Amy Hauck Newman, Ph.D.

Lead Inventor & NIDA Consultant

​Dr. Amy Hauck Newman has published 245 peer-reviewed manuscripts and is widely regarded as an expert in the field of medicinal chemistry. She currently serves as Deputy Scientific Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Intramural Research Program and Chief of the Medications Discovery Research Branch and Medicinal Chemistry Sections of NIDA. She has designed several research tools to better evaluate drug-receptor interactions and study how molecular changes influence behavior. In recent years, her lab has synthesized novel compounds that target monoamine transporters and receptors to treat addictions. She is the lead inventor of EncepHeal's first pharmacotherapies to treat cocaine addiction.
Dr. Newman earned her B.S. in Chemistry from Mary Washington College and her Ph.D. in Medicinal Chemistry from the Medical College of Virginia where she designed and synthesized novel amphetamine analogs. Dr. Newman completed her postdoctoral training under Dr. Kenner C. Rice at the Laboratory of Medicinal Chemistry at the NIH and worked at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research before she initiated the Medicinal Chemistry Program at NIDA.


Scientific advisory board & COLLABORATORS

Accelerating Research

to Heal the Mind

Jessica Beaver, Ph.D., R.A.C.

Regulatory and Quality Affairs

​Dr. Beaver currently serves as Senior Director, Regulatory Affairs and Quality Compliance for KeraNetics LLC. She brings over twelve years of research and development experience in the pharmaceutical industry, oversees regulatory affairs strategy, and manages the company's quality system.

Prior to joining Targacept, Dr. Beaver held positions of increased responsibility with Johnson & Johnson as Clinical Pharmacology lead on multiple programs for worldwide marketed products and candidates in development. She has also served as a professor at Temple University and The Pharmaceutical Education & Research Institute. Dr. Beaver holds a Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences and a B.S. in Pharmacy, both from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Jon-Paul Strachan, Ph.D.

​Medicinal Chemist

​Dr. Strachan previously served as Senior Scientist II in the Medicinal Chemistry Department for the biopharmaceutical company Targacept, Inc. During that time, he was the lead chemist on Targacept's Parkinson’s disease project team and advanced a lead compound for the treatment of L-Dopa-induced dyskinesias. Prior to joining Targacept, Dr. Strachan worked for several contract research organizations and biopharmaceutical companies in North Carolina. He obtained his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry and B.Sc. in Chemistry from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland before finishing his postdoctoral work with Dr. Jon Lindsey at North Carolina State University.