Raul Rolando Calvo received a B.S. in chemistry from the State University of New York (SUNY) at Cortland in 1974 and an M.S. in chemistry from SUNY at Stony Brook in 1982. While at Stony Brook, he worked on designing and synthesizing phospholipids to study phospholipid-protein interactions.
Calvo joined NCATS in 2013 as a medicinal chemist. His research involves the design and synthesis of small-molecule modulators of cellular events involved in neurodegenerative diseases. Before joining NCATS, Calvo’s efforts focused on the discovery and delivery of drugs for clinical trials in such areas as hypertension (ACE/diuretics and ACE inhibitors), osteoporosis (calcium receptor antagonists), cardiovascular disease (GpIIb/IIIa antagonists — small peptides and molecules), oncology (p53-hdm2 antagonists) and pain (TRPV1 antagonists). In 2007, Calvo received the Johnson & Johnson Innovation of the Year Award for his discovery of a TRPV1 antagonist, which is now in clinical trials.
Calvo’s research aims to improve the translational process by improving understanding of fundamental processes that affect multiple diseases:
- Modulation of TRPML channels
- Stable analogs of DHA
- Formulation of tocopherol derivatives
- Modulation of autophagy
- NPC1/Rab9 modulators
- SixOneEya2 antagonists
- Clearance of Huntintin aggregation in cells
- Use of exosomes to study cellular processes and the delivery of drugs to cells