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Barbara Slusher, PhD, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine


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Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Barbara S. Slusher, PhD,
Dr. Slusher is an Associate Professor of Neurology and the Director of the Brain Science Institute NeuroTranslational Drug Discovery Program at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. She leads a 20-member veteran drug-discovery team consisting of medicinal chemists, assay developers, pharmacologists, toxicologists, and pharmacokinetic/drug metabolism experts. The team is engaged in identifying novel drug targets arising from JHU faculty’s research and translating them into new drug therapies for neurological disorders.

Prior to joining Hopkins in September 2009, she spent 18 years in the pharmaceutical industry, including several years as a Senior Vice President of Research and Translational Development. Dr. Slusher’s extensive experience in drug discovery spans through Phase I/IIa clinical development, participation in multiple FDA meetings and both IND and NDA regulatory filings. She is an inventor of over fifty issued patents and applications and has published over 120 scientific articles, reviews and book chapters. She has been an invited speaker at many national and international scientific meetings and has served on the Board or as a scientific consultant of multiple biotechnology companies.

Dr. Slusher received her undergraduate degree from Dickinson College where she graduated valedictorian, majoring in Chemistry. She received her Ph.D. in Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences from John Hopkins School of Medicine while simultaneously earning her Master's degree in Administrative Science from Johns Hopkins School of Continuing Studies.

Dr. Slusher has strong ties in Maryland, growing up in Bel Air and continuing to live in the area with her husband and three children. She and her family are committed to community service, traveling to Kenya, Africa to volunteer for “Caring for Kids of Kenya”, coaching youth travel-lacrosse and founding a women’s lacrosse club. She was recently awarded the United Way Big Brother/Big Sister Volunteer-of-the-Year Award for her work with inner-city children and was awarded a volunteer honor from Habitat for Humanity.

NeuroTranslational Program, Brain Science Institute
The BSi NeuroTranslational Program was created with the mission of identifying novel drug targets arising from JHU faculty’s research and translating them into new drug therapies for neurological disorders. To accomplish this, BSi has taken the practical approach of complementing Hopkins’ strengths in basic research with seasoned pharmaceutical professionals who have decades worth of experience in drug discovery and early stage development.

The BSi NeuroTranslational staff has expertise in medicinal chemistry, assay development, animal pharmacology, the conduct of preclinical studies, and the knowledge necessary to bring novel drugs to the clinic. The BSi NeuroTranslational Program’s scientists will work hand-in-hand with faculty interested in translational medicine to create dedicated, multidisciplinary project teams. These teams will work collaboratively to obtain funding and progress targets through the drug discovery and preclinical development process. The data packages arising from this work will enhance out licensing and new venture opportunities. Raising the bar of medical excellence through an interdisciplinary education is a hallmark of the Johns Hopkins community. The BSi NeuroTranslational core staff, with breadth of industrial pharmaceutical expertise, will also participate in this tradition by providing drug discovery educational opportunities for faculty, staff, and students at Hopkins.

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