Melatonin Researcher Named SUNY Distinguished Professor

Published May 19, 2014

Margarita L. Dubocovich, PhD

Margarita L. Dubocovich, PhD

Margarita L. Dubocovich, PhD, professor and chair of pharmacology and toxicology, has been named a State University of New York Distinguished Professor, the highest faculty rank in the SUNY system.

Considered the world’s foremost authority on melatonin and the regulation of the hormone’s receptors in the brain and body, Dubocovich is credited with discovering melatonin receptor subtypes that have revolutionized the field.

Dubocovich joins a prestigious group of 337 exceptional faculty members who have achieved this rank over the past half-century for prominence in their fields.

Seeking Novel Drugs for Sleep Disorders, Depression

Considered the world’s foremost authority on melatonin and the regulation of the hormone’s receptors in the brain and body, Dubocovich is credited with discovering melatonin receptor subtypes that have revolutionized the field.

Her research has significantly broadened the scientific understanding of melatonin and its effect on circadian rhythms, sleep disorders and depression.

Dubocovich has pioneered the pharmacology of melatonin receptor agents and owns or co-owns three patents related to agents developed for her research.

She focuses on seeking and developing novel molecules that can mimic or counteract the actions of melatonin.

These molecules may help treat insomnia and sleep disorders; seasonal affective disorders and depression; and cardiovascular disease.

Her lab is researching melatonin’s mechanism of action at the MT1 and MT2 G-protein coupled receptors. Her research team ultimately aims to discover novel drugs that act on each subtype.

Since 1985, her research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation and major pharmaceutical companies.

She has published more than 170 research articles in professional journals.

Recognized for Research Excellence

Among numerous honors, Dubocovich has been named a fellow of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology.

She also received the Aaron B. Lerner Award for Outstanding Contributions to Melatonin Research and the Latin-American Congress of Pharmacology’s Award for Outstanding Scientific Contributions.

Championing Diversity and Inclusion

Dubocovich is leading efforts to build a culturally and intellectually diverse and inclusive academic community within the University at Buffalo’s School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

As senior associate dean for inclusion and cultural enhancement, she provides expertise and develops innovative programming to foster inclusion and diversity.