If you made any changes in Pure these will be visible here soon.

Personal profile

Research interests

I use medicinal chemistry to develop a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying neuropsychological diseases, in particular drug abuse, but also including depression and anxiety. To this end, both highly selective ligands and, more recently, ligands targeted at multiple receptors are designed and synthesized, along with specific pharmacological tools such as irreversible and radiolabeled ligands which allow us to study changes in the chemistry of the brain. Manipulation of the duration of activity of ligands has also been a theme within recent years. I am also interested in the therapeutic potential of such compounds, in particular the group is continuing to study, with the help of funding from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the utility of opioid ligands as treatment agents for opioid, cocaine and other drugs of abuse and the use of opioid ligands in the treatment of depression. The most important work within the group has been towards ‘selectively promiscuous’ ligands and has been driven by the realisation that CNS disorders are rarely simple, requiring complex solutions. Particular success, and impact, has been achieved in delineating the molecular descriptors that are crucial to the unique pharmacological profile displayed by the opioid treatment agent buprenorphine. This work has allowed us to develop ligands that target multiple opioid receptors simultaneously, with some control over efficacy at each receptor. Current targets include the mu, kappa and NOP opioid receptors and, separately, Regulators of G protein Signaling (RGS) proteins. All our work is carried out in collaboration with colleagues at the University of Bath, the University of Michigan, Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies, Imperial College and the University of Bristol. Current and recent funding for our work has come from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the Medical Research Council and the Cystic Fibrosis Trust.

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, University of Strathclyde


  • QD Chemistry
  • Opioid
  • medicinal chemistry
  • chemical biology
  • CNS
  • cystic fibrosis

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Stephen Husbands is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • 5 Similar Profiles

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.


Research Output

OREX-1019: a novel treatment for opioid use disorder and relapse prevention

Maguire, D., Gerak, L., Cami-Kobeci, G., Husbands, S., France, C., Belli, B. & Flynn, P., 1 Feb 2020, In : Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. 372, 2, p. 205-215

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19F and 1H quantitative-NMR spectroscopic analysis of fluorinated third-generation synthetic cannabinoids

Naqi, H., Woodman, T., Husbands, S. & Blagbrough, I., 28 Jun 2019, In : Analytical Methods. 11, 24, p. 3090-3100 11 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
3 Citations (Scopus)

1H quantitative NMR and UHPLC-MS analysis of seized MDMA/NPS mixtures and tablets from night-club venues

Naqi, H., Husbands, S. & Blagbrough, I., 7 Oct 2019, In : Analytical Methods. 11, 37, p. 4795-4807 13 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Open Access
1 Citation (Scopus)

BU10038 as a safe opioid analgesic with fewer side effects after systemic and intrathecal administration in primates

Kiguchi, N., Ding, H., Cami-Kobeci, G., Sukhtankar, D. D., Czoty, P. W., DeLoid, H. B., Hsu, F. -C., Toll, L., Husbands, S. & Ko, M. C., 1 Jun 2019, In : British Journal of Anaesthesia. 122, 6, p. e146-e156

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
2 Citations (Scopus)
1 Downloads (Pure)


A Single Compound Alternative to a Buprenorphine/Naltrexone Combination

Author: Ridzwan, I. E., 31 Jul 2012

Supervisor: Husbands, S. (Supervisor) & Bailey, C. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


Does the combination of buprenorphine/naltrexone have antidepressant efficacy in animal models?

Author: Almatroudi, A., 11 Jan 2016

Supervisor: Bailey, S. (Supervisor), Bailey, C. (Supervisor) & Husbands, S. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


Formulation performance in paediatric patients - in vitro predictive models and biowaivers

Author: Martir, J., 4 Sep 2019

Supervisor: Fotaki, N. (Supervisor) & Husbands, S. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD

Impurity profiling of illicit drugs

Author: Alotaibi, M. R. M., 26 Apr 2017

Supervisor: Blagbrough, I. (Supervisor) & Husbands, S. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


New antagonists for the Kappa Opioid receptor

Author: Pillinger, K., 1 Jun 2009

Supervisor: Husbands, S. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD