Eric C. Peterson, Ph.D.


Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology


Phone: (501) 686-7335

Fax: (501) 686-5510


Research Experience

The overall goal of our research is to develop new antibody-based medications to treat chronic and acute methamphetamine (METH) abuse. We are currently accomplishing this goal through two projects in the laboratory. In the first project we are combining antibody therapy and nanotechnology to generate an adaptable range of anti-METH medications (dendribodies) that will have applicability to important therapeutic treatment (e.g., a short-acting medication for overdose and a long-acting, low volume of distribution medication needed for chronic treatment of addiction). These studies will provide the first detailed information on the necessary design features and molecular principles required to create an advanced new generation of novel pharmacokinetic antagonists for the treatment of drug abuse.

In a second project, we are utilizing adeno-associated virus (AAV) particles to deliver genes encoding high-affinity anti-METH antibody fragments discovered by our research team. We envision that AAV-mediated gene transfer could be used to persistently deliver these purposely designed single chain variable fragment (scFv) antibodies, which have precise specificity and high affinity for METH. By the end of these studies, we will know if gene therapy can safely deliver sustained doses of antibody medications sufficient to significantly reduce METH pharmacological effects.

Recent Publications

Thakkar S, N Nanaware-Kharade, R Celikel, EC Peterson, KI Varughese (2014) Affinity improvement of a therapeutic antibody to methamphetamine and amphetamine through structure-based antibody engineering. Scientific Reports 4, Article 3673

Peterson EC, WB Gentry, and SM Owens (2014) Customizing Monoclonal Antibodies for the Treatment of Methamphetamine Abuse: Current and Future Applications. Advances in Pharmacology 69:107-27

Peterson EC, R Celikel, K Gokulan, KI Varughese (2013) Structure of a therapeutic single chain antibody fragment:  oligomerization and binding of metabolites.  PLoS One. 2013 Dec 5;8(12):e82690.

Nanaware-Kharade N, Gonzalez GA III, Lay JO Jr, Hendrickson HP, Peterson EC. (2012) Therapeutic anti-methamphetamine antibody fragment-nanoparticle conjugates: synthesis and in vitro characterization Bioconj Chem Aug 9. [Epub ahead of print, PMC in process]

Dekeyser JG, Laurenzana EM, Peterson EC, Chen T, Omiecinski CJ. (2011). Selective phthalate activation of naturally occurring human constitutive androstane receptor splice variants and the pregnane X receptor. Toxicol Sci Jan 12. [PMC3107492]  Selected as paper of the year by the Society of Toxicology

Carroll FI, Blough BE, Pidaparthi RR, Abraham P, Gong PK, Deng L, Huang X, Gunnell M, Lay JO, Peterson EC, Owens SM. (2011). Synthesis of mercapto-(+)- methamphetamine haptens and their use for obtaining improved epitope density on (+)-methamphetamine conjugate vaccines. J Med Chem Jun. 17 [PMC3141093]

Owens SM, Atchley WT, Hambuchen MD, Peterson EC, Gentry WB (2011) Monoclonal antibodies as pharmacokinetic antagonists for the treatment of (+)-methamphetamine addiction. CNS Neurol Disord Drug Targets. 10: 892-898 [PMC in process]

Laurenzana EM, Hendrickson HP, Carpenter D, Peterson EC, Gentry WB, West CM, Carroll FI, Owens SM (2009). Functional and biological determinants of the time course of action of anti-(+)-methamphetamine monoclonal antibodies in rats. Vaccine 27(50): 7011-20 [PMC2792920]

Celikel R, Peterson EC*, Owens SM, Varughese KI. (2009). High resolution crystal structures of a therapeutic single chain antibody in complex with two drugs of abuse – methamphetamine and 3,4 methylenedioxy-N-methamphetamine.  Protein Sci 18(11): 2336-45  *Co-first author. [PMC2788288]

Carroll FI, Abraham P, Gong PK, Pidaparthi RR, Blough BE, Che Y, Hampton A, Gunnell M, Lay JO Jr, Peterson EC, Owens SM (2009). The synthesis of Haptens and their use for the development of monoclonal antibodies for treating methamphetamine abuse. J Med Chem 52(22): 7301-9 [PMC2787402]

Peterson EC, Laurenzana EM, Atchley WT, Hendrickson HP, Owens SM (2008). Design, functional characterization and preclinical testing of a high affinity single chain antibody against (+)-methamphetamine. J Pharmacol Exp Ther, 325(1): 124-33 [PMC2773181]

Peterson EC, Gunnell M, Che Y, Goforth RL, Carroll FI, Henry RL, Owens SM (2007). Using Hapten design to discover therapeutic monoclonal antibodies for treating methamphetamine abuse. J Pharmacol Exp Ther, 322: 30-9 [PMC2764287]

Peterson EC, Owens SM, Henry RL. (2006). Monoclonal antibody form and function: manufacturing the right antibodies for treating drug abuse. AAPS J 8(2): E383-390 [PMC3231570]

Goforth RL, Peterson EC, Yuan J, Moore M, Kight A, Lohse M, Sakon J, Henry R. (2004). Regulation of the GTPase cycle in posttranslational signal recognition particle based protein targeting involves cpSRP43  J Biol Chem. 279: 43077-84

Yuan J, Kight A, Goforth RL, Moore M, Peterson EC, Sakon J, Henry R. (2002). ATP Stimulates Signal Recognition Particle (SRP)/FtsY-supported Protein Integration in Chloroplasts.  J Biol Chem. 277: 32400-4.

Tu CJ, Peterson EC, Henry RL, Hoffman NE. (2000). The L18 domain of LHCP binds to the cpSRP43 subunit of a chloroplast signal recognition particle. J Biol Chem. 275:13187-90.

DeLille J, Peterson EC, Johnson T, Moore M, Kight A, Henry RL. (2000). A novel recognition element in LHCP enables post-translational binding by a chloroplast signal recognition particle. Proc Natl Acad Sci. 97: 1926-1931.

Moore M, Harrison MS, Peterson EC, Henry RL. (2000). Chloroplast Oxa1p Homologue, Albino3, functions in post-translational integration of the light harvesting chlorophyll-binding protein into thylakoid membranes. J Biol Chem. 275: 1529-1532