From the Yale School of Medicine to our Cannabis Research Lab: Meet ebbu's Chief Science Officer, Brian Reid

By ebbu staff

Dr. Brian Reid, ebbu’s Chief Science Officer, is one of the leading minds in the cannabis industry. Dr. Reid oversees all of the research and development that takes place at ebbu, including chemistry, chromatography, cellular pharmacology, human pharmacology and genetics.

His team’s studies of cannabis plant compounds have led to breakthroughs in delivery methods and enlightenment in how specific cannabinoids and terpenes affect mood. For Dr. Reid, the most rewarding part of research into cannabis compounds is making discoveries that have never been reported. He says it feels like “solving a piece of the cannabis puzzle.”

Dr. Reid came to the professional cannabis space by way of the biopharmaceutical industry, where he spent several years as a biochemist and researcher for Gilead Sciences (formerly Myogen) and Incyte. His work focused mainly in drug discovery, finding and discovering new compounds that could potentially go on to become pharmaceutical drugs. The work involved a combination of cellular biology, pharmacology and biochemistry.

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Dr. Brian Reid

In 2010 while working at the University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Dr. Reid founded the High Throughput and High Content Screening Core Facility, which specializes in chemical biology studies. He served as the facility’s director until 2015, as well as teaching research.

In early 2015, ebbu’s CEO, Jon Cooper, approached Dr. Reid’s research department with the idea of conducting studies on ways to combine various cannabinoids and other natural compounds, such as terpenes, to create distinct, consistent, predictable mood effects.

Dr. Reid says, “I had always been interested in psychopharmacology around cannabis, so I worked with Coop [Jon Cooper] to create a proposal for researching potential formulations and studying their effects.” But the university’s lawyers were concerned such research would jeopardize the school’s federal funding and didn’t allow the plan to go forward.

However, Dr. Reid was intrigued enough by the concept that he called Jon and proposed bringing the research in-house to ebbu. The rest, as they say, is history.

Over the past three years, research overseen by Dr. Reid in cellular pharmacology, human pharmacology and genetics has led to breakthroughs in the cannabinoid delivery methodologies, fulfilling the concept he and Cooper originally discussed that centered on discovering which formulations of purified cannabinoids and terpenes lead to consistent, reliable mood effects.

Dr. Reid embraces ebbu’s mission of unlocking the potential of cannabis and cannabinoids to improve people’s quality of life. “What we learned through two years of research on mood effects translates directly to getting at medical effects,” he says.

He and his team are now working to create medical formulations that can be put in any mode of delivery. Formulations that help ease anxiety and pain are the first two areas of focus for ebbu’s lab team.

A dedicated researcher who values sharing findings with the scientific community, Dr. Reid is currently submitting recent ebbu-derived discoveries to peer-reviewed journals. He has previously collaborated on dozens of cellular and biochemistry research papers published in Nature, Journal of Medical Chemistry, Molecular Cell, Biochemistry, Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology, Current Chemical Genomics and Translational Medicine, Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, Procedures of the National Academy of Science, Expert Opinion on Drug Discovery, Journal of Biomolecular Screening, and The Journal of Biological Chemistry.

He has also been a featured speaker at several top-level medical conferences, including the ACS National Meeting in New Orleans (in the Cannabis Chemistry subgroup); the World Pharma Congress: Epigenetics Screening; the Revolutionaries for Global Health Summit; and the International Meeting on AAA Proteins.

Dr. Reid never strayed from his chosen career path in science. He earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of Colorado and a doctorate in biochemistry from the University of Oregon Institute of Molecular Biology. His doctoral dissertation was titled Substrate Specificity of the Molecular Chaperone GroEL/ES: Studies with the Model Proteins Rhodanese and Green Fluorescent Protein. He was a Howard Hughes Postdoctoral Fellow at Yale University School of Medicine, where he focused on mechanistic biochemistry, specifically protein folding and unfolding in vivo.

During his time with the University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, he collaborated with specialized programs on the campus and at other institutions, including the School of Medicine, the School of Pharmacy, National Jewish Health and Colorado State University. Most of his work focused on cardiovascular health and cancer.

During his time at the university, he was awarded grants of up to $1 million from the National Institutes of Health, the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade, Colorado’s Bioscience Discovery Evaluation Grant Program, the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the Butcher Foundation and Golfers Against Cancer.