Prof. Mechoulam is with the Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Natural Products at the Faculty of Medicine. He is former Rector of the University and is a member of the Israel Academy of Sciences. His research interests are in the field of the chemistry and biological activity of natural products and medicinal agents. His main contributions are in the field of the constituents of cannabis and the endogenous cannabinoids found in the brain and the periphery. He has published extensively on their pharmacological activities.
Sample of recent research publications:
Y. Gaoni and R. Mechoulam. Isolation, structure and partial synthesis of an active constituent of hashish. J. Amer. Chem. Soc., 86, 1646 (1964).
R. Mechoulam, A. Shani, H. Edery and Y. Grunfeld. The chemical basis of hashish activity. Science, 169, 611-612 (1970).
J.J. Feigenbaum F. Bergmann, S.A. Richmond, R. Mechoulam, V. Nadler, Y. Kloog and M. Sokolovsky. A non-psychotropic cannabinoid acts as a functional N-methyl-D-asparate (NMDA) receptor blocker. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. 86, 9584-9587 (1989).
R. Seltzer, Z. Zeltser, A. Eisen, J.J. Feigenbaum and R. Mechoulam. Suppression of neuropathic pain behavior in rats by a non-psychotropic synthetic cannabinoid with NMDA receptor- blocking properties. Pain 47, 95-103 (1991).
W.A. Devane, L. Hanus, A. Breuer, R.G. Pertwee, L.A. Stevenson, G. Griffin, D. Gibson, A. Mandelbaum, A. Etinger and R. Mechoulam. Isolation and structure of a brain constituent that binds to the cannabinoid receptor. Science 258, 1946-1949 (1992).
R. Mechoulam, S. Ben-Shabat, L. Hanus, M. Ligumsky, N.E. Kaminski, A.R. Schatz, A. Gopher, S. Almog, B.R. Martin, D.R. Compton, R.G. Pertwee, G. Griffin, M. Bayewitch, J. Barg and Z. Vogel. Identification of an endogenous 2-monoglyceride, present in canine gut, that binds to cannabinoid receptors. Biochem. Pharmacol. 50, 83-90 (1995).
L. Hanus, A. Breuer, S. Tchilibon, S. Shiloah, D. Goldenberg, M. Horowitz, R.G.Pertwee , R.A.Ross, R. Mechoulam and E. Fride. HU-308: A specific agonist for CB2, a peripheral cannabinoid receptor. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. (US), 96, 14228-14233 (1999).
A.M. Malfait, R. Gallily, P.F. Sumariwalla, A.S. Malik, E. Andreakos, R. Mechoulam, M. Feldmann. The non-psychoactive cannabis-constituent cannabidiol is an oral anti-arthritic therapeutic in murine collagen-induced arthritis. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci (USA) 97, 9561-9566 (2000).
L. Hanus, S. Abu-Lafi, E. Fride, A. Breuer, Z. Vogel, D.E. Shalev, I. Kustanovich and R. Mechoulam. 2-Arachidonyl glycerol ether, endogenous agonist of the cannabinoid CB1 receptor. Proceed. Natl. Acad. Sci. (USA) 98, 3662-3665 (2001).
D. Panikashvili, C. Simeonidou, S. Ben-Shabat, L. Hanus, A. Breuer, R. Mechoulam and E. Shohami. An endogenous cannabinoid (2-AG) is neuroprotective after brain injury. Nature 413, 527-531 (2001).