Professor Dale Deutsch received the International Cannabinoid Research Society (ICRS) Lifetime Achievement Award at a Symposium held in Nova Scotia this summer.The Career Award is given to a senior individual who has dedicated his or her career to furthering cannabinoid and endocannabinoid research. A record of enduring high-impact publications, awards, and committee membership exemplify such dedication. Awardees are expected to have had broad impact on more than one aspect of the field. This award is given at the annual ICRS Symposium on the Cannabinoids
Dale has been active in the ICRS since its inception in 1992 and has made numerous contributions to the field of endocannabinoid biology. His laboratory identified the enzyme that breaks down the body’s own marijuana-like substance called anandamide, and characterized the first inhibitors of this enzyme called FAAH. A new generation of these inhibitors are now being studied in human clinical trials. He established that anandamide uptake into cells is driven by FAAH activity and demonstrated with collaborators that the enzyme called NAPE-PLD was responsible for anandamide biosynthesis. His laboratory recently elucidated mechanisms by which intracellular transporters carry anandamide to FAAH for catabolism and also showed that these transporters, called fatty acid binding proteins, are carriers for THC and CBD, components of marijuana. Currently he and collaborators are designing drugs that target the transporter and raise anandamide levels.
In addition to his scientific accomplishments, Dale served as the International Cannabinoid Research Society newsletter editor for approximately 10 years and has also served as the President of this society.
Dale is in the Department of Biochemistry and Cell Biology. He was born in the USA and received his B.A. from the University of Buffalo in Chemistry and his PhD from Purdue University in Biochemistry specializing in enzymology. His postdoctoral research took him from the University of Colorado, to the University of Chicago and finally to Stony Brook University. He joined the Department of Pathology at Stony Brook in 1982 and joined Biochemistry and Cell Biology in 1988 where he has continued to direct the major undergraduate biochemistry teaching laboratory. He was a visiting professor at Tokushima University in Japan and at Scripps in La Jolla, CA and is currently on sabbatical in San Francisco. He has been the recipient of research grants since the early 1980s and recently was the PI on a 5 year 3.5 million dollar NIH grant to study anandamide transport inhibitors.