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Douglas F. Covey, PhD

Douglas F. Covey, PhD, professor of pharmacology in developmental biology, of anesthesiology and of psychiatry, is honored for his innovative contributions that are credited for defining the field of neurosteroid chemistry.

Covey is recognized for having an intuitive understanding of biochemical, biophysical and cell biological principles. He is a pioneer in the study of the structure and function of neurosteroids as potential mediators of neuropsychiatric, cardiovascular and metabolic illnesses. His research and collaborations span the fields of neuroscience, psychiatry, anesthesiology, cardiology and developmental biology.

Covey has been continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for more than 30 years and is the recipient of an NIH Research Career Development Award. His laboratory currently is the only one in the world dedicated to the synthesis of enantiomeric steroids. He holds multiple patents and is a co-founder of SAGE Therapeutics, a company that is translating Covey’s research and his identification of new chemical compounds into clinical applications as anticonvulsants, antidepressants and sedatives. The first neuroactive steroid analogue will soon enter clinical trials for potential use as a treatment for severe epilepsy, postpartum depression and essential tremor.

Over his 40-year career, Covey has shared his expertise with faculty and peers from around the world. An outstanding educator, he is passionate about mentoring the next generation of young investigators. For 27 years, he served as the course master of pharmacology.

Covey earned his doctoral degree in chemistry from Johns Hopkins University in 1973. After completing postdoctoral fellowships in chemistry and pharmacology at Johns Hopkins, Covey joined the faculty of Washington University School of Medicine in 1977.

Published: 09/13/2017