Skip Navigation

ACS is committed to helping combat the global COVID-19 pandemic with initiatives and free resources. Learn More

Craig W. Lindsley

Craig W. Lindsley

Craig W. Lindsley, Ph.D. is the Co-Director and Director of Medicinal Chemistry for the Vanderbilt Center for Neuroscience Drug Discovery and University Professor of Pharmacology, Chemistry & Biochemistry.  Craig graduated in 1992 from Cal State Chico with a B.S. in Chemistry, received his Ph.D. degree in Chemistry from UC, Santa Barbara (Lipshutz), in 1996, and pursued postdoctoral studies at Harvard University. In 2001, Craig accepted a position at Merck & Co where he pioneered, in positions of increasing responsibility, the development of allosteric ligands for Akt, mGlu5 and M1, providing critical proof-of-concept compounds that validated the mechanism of allosteric modulation and clinical candidates. 

In 2006, Craig accepted an Associate Professor position at Vanderbilt University, and promoted to Full Professor in 2009.  In that same year, Craig became the founding Editor-in-Chief of ACS Chemical Neuroscience and was also awarded the ASPET-Astellas Award for Translational Pharmacology. In 2012, he was awarded the William K. Warren, Jr. Chair in Medicine.  The following year, Craig was awarded the Portoghese Lectureship from the ACS MEDI division and the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry for impact in the field of medicinal chemistry, and in 2014, received the John J. Abel Award in Pharmacology from ASPET. More recently, Craig was inducted as an AAAS Fellow, awarded the Pharmacia-ASPET Award in Experimental Therapeutics and named a Thomson Reuters Highly Cited Researcher (2015-2017 and Thomson Reuters World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds (2016).  In 2018, Craig was honored as the the 22nd Smissman Memorial Lecturer and the 2018 Sato Memorial International Award. 

Craig holds over 82 issued US patents and has published over 400 manuscripts.  In 2016, and without an industry partner, Craig oversaw IND-enabling studies of a novel M1 PAM that was awarded an open IND from the FDA, and the Phase I trial (SAD and MAD) initiated at Vanderbilt.