Robin Polt

Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry
Professor, Pharmacology and Toxicology
BIO5 Institute Professor
Adjunct Faculty, Pharmaceutics & Pharmacokinetics

Dr. Polt is interested in the synthesis of lipids, glycolipids and glycopeptides, and studying their interaction with biological membranes and GPCRs. Applications include Sphingosine Phosphate receptor agonists and antagonists, as well as sphingosine analogues that interfere with the processing and expression of Glycosphingolipids.

Education & Post Graduate Training: 

Ph.D. 1986 Columbia University, Organic Synthesis
Post-Doc 1986-1988 ETH Zürich, Organic Synthesis

Areas of Research: 

Basic and applied science
Translational medicine
Glycosylation of peptide neurotransmitters

Professional Organizations: 

American Chemical Society

Select Publications


Eedara BBabu, Alabsi W, Encinas-Basurto D, Polt R, Mansour HM. "Spray-Dried Inhalable Powder Formulations of Therapeutic Proteins and Peptides." AAPS PharmSciTech. 2021;22(5):185. PMID: 34143327


Lefever M, Li Y, Anglin B, et al. "Structural Requirements for CNS Active Opioid Glycopeptides." J. Med. Chem.. 2015;58(15):5728-41. PMID: 26125201


Li Y, Lefever MR, Muthu D, Bidlack JM, Bilsky EJ, Polt R. "Opioid glycopeptide analgesics derived from endogenous enkephalins and endorphins." Future Med Chem. 2012;4(2):205-26. PMCID: PMC3306179  PMID: 22300099


Lowery JJ, Raymond TJ, Giuvelis D, Bidlack JM, Polt R, Bilsky EJ. "In vivo characterization of MMP-2200, a mixed δ/μ opioid agonist, in mice." J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther.. 2011;336(3):767-78. PMCID: PMC3061528  PMID: 21118955


Dhanasekaran M, Palian MM, Alves I, et al. "Glycopeptides related to beta-endorphin adopt helical amphipathic conformations in the presence of lipid bilayers." J. Am. Chem. Soc.. 2005;127(15):5435-48. PMID: 15826181


Polt R, Porreca F, Szabò LZ, et al. "Glycopeptide enkephalin analogues produce analgesia in mice: evidence for penetration of the blood-brain barrier." Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.. 1994;91(15):7114-8. PMCID: PMC44349  PMID: 8041755