David E. Olson, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine
Department of Chemistry
2463 Chemistry Annex

For more information visit the Olson Laboratory Website.

We investigate how small molecules regulate learning and memory by employing a multi-disciplinary approach involving organic synthesis, molecular neurobiology, and behavioral neuropharmacology. The ability to acquire, store, and retrieve information is a critical function of the human brain. As a result, impaired cognition characterizes nearly every brain disorder from Alzheimer’s disease and addiction, to schizophrenia, autism, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Our research not only provides insight into the fundamental mechanisms of learning and memory, but also suggests novel therapeutic strategies for treating these debilitating neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric disorders.

Olson, D. E.; Sleiman, S. F.; Bourassa, M. W.; Wagner, F. F.; Gale, J. P.; Zhang, Y.-L.; Ratan, R. R.; Holson, E. B. Hydroxamate-based Histone Deacetylase Inhibitors Can Protect Neurons from Oxidative Stress by Forming Catalase Mimetic Complexes with Intracellular Iron. Chem. Biol. 2015, 22, 439-445.

Olson, D. E., Udeshi, N.; Wolfson, N. A.; Pitcairn, C. A.; Sullivan, E. D.; Jaffe, J.; Svinkina, T.; Natoli, T.; Liu, X.; Paulk, J.; McCarren, P.; Wagner, F. F.; Barker, D.; Howe, E.; Lazzaro, F.; Gale, J. P.; Zhang, Y.-L.; Subramanian, A.; Fierke, C.; Carr, S.; Holson, E. B. An Unbiased Approach to Identify Endogenous Substrates of “Histone” Deacetylase 8. ACS Chem. Bio. 2014, 9, 2210-2216.

Sleiman, S. F.; Olson, D. E.; Bourassa, M. W.; Karuppagounder, S. S.; Zhang, Y.-L.; Gale, J.; Wagner, F. F.; Basso, M.; Coppola, G.; Pinto, J. T.; Holson, E. B.; Ratan, R. R. Hydroxamic Acid-based Histone Deacetylase (HDAC) Inhibitors Can Mediate Neuroprotection Independent of HDAC Inhibition. J. Neurosci. 2014, 34, 14328-14337.

Olson, D. E.; Su, J. Y.; Roberts, D. A.; Du Bois, J. Vicinal Diamination of Alkenes under Rh-Catalysis. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2014, 136, 13506-13509.

Olson, D. E.; Wagner, F. F.; Kaya, T.; Gale, J; Aidoud, N.; Davoine, E. L.; Lazzaro, F.; Weïwer, M.; Zhang, Y.-L.; Holson, E. B. Discovery of the First Histone Deacetylase 6/8 Dual Inhibitors. J. Med. Chem. 2013, 56, 4816-4820.

Wagner F. F.; Olson D. E.; Gale J. P.; Kaya T.; Weïwer M.; Aidoud N.; Thomas M.; Davoine E. L.; Lemercier B. C.; Zhang Y.-L.; Holson E. B. Potent and Selective Inhibition of Histone Deacetylase 6 (HDAC6) Does Not Require a Surface-binding Motif. J. Med. Chem. 2013, 56, 1772-1776.

Olson, D. E.; Roberts, D. A.; Du Bois, J. Synthesis of Differentially-substituted 1,2-Diamines through Advances in C–H Amination Technology. Org. Lett. 2012, 14, 6174-6177.

Olson, D. E.; Maruniak, A.; Malhotra, S.; Trost, B. M.; Du Bois, J. Synthesis and Reactivity of Unique Heterocyclic Structures en route to Substituted Diamines. Org. Lett. 2011, 13, 336-339.

Trost, B. M.; Malhotra, S.; Olson, D. E.; Maruniak, A.; Du Bois, J. Asymmetric Synthesis of Diamine Derivatives via Sequential Palladium and Rhodium Catalysis. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2009, 131, 4190-4191.

Olson, D. E.; Du Bois, J. Catalytic C–H Amination for the Preparation of Substituted 1,2-Diamines. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2008, 130, 11248-11249.