University of Kentucky
John Littleton studied Pharmacology and Medicine as an MD PhD student at Kings College, London University in England. He continued academic research at Kings College, mostly in CNS target validation, as a Professor in the Pharmacology Department until 1993. At this time he spent a year at the University of Kentucky on a Wellcome Foundation fellowship where he started to develop an interest in novel technologies for plant drug discovery. He returned to Kentucky in 1995 to further develop the plant drug discovery aspect of his research, using novel methods of mutagenesis and high throughput screening in plant cell cultures. He co-founded the biotechnology company, Naprogenix Inc, in 2002 to commercialize these methods. With support from NIH (SBIR/STTR awards) and Kentucky (matching funds for these) Naprogenix and the University of Kentucky have refined the technology to its current state. The technology now utilizes the expression of protein targets in plant cells, followed by mutagenesis and selection for clones generating metabolites which interact with the target. Dr Littleton lives in downtown Lexington with his wife Susan Barron, who is a Professor in Psychology at the University, and his teenage daughter Elise.
The technology now utilizes the expression of protein targets in plant cells, followed by mutagenesis and selection for clones generating metabolites which interact with the target