Michael B. Bolger, Ph.D.

Professor Bolger obtained a B.A. in Biology and Chemistry with a minor in psychology from the University of California at San Diego in 1973 and his Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Chemistry from UC San Francisco in 1978. During 1978-1980 he was an NIH Postdoctoral Fellow in pharmacology at the UC San Diego School of Medicine and joined the faculty of the University of Southern California School of Pharmacy in 1980 where he currently holds the title of Adjunct Associate Professor. During this period he developed an interest in computational aspects of drug design and drug development. As a faculty member at USC School of Pharmacy, Dr. Bolger was supported by several NIH basic science research grants and has published over 50 peer-reviewed publications. From 1989-1991 he served as a US Food and Drug Administration National Science Advisor and in 1989 was a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of Synbiotics Inc. In 1996, he was elected to the rank of AAAS Fellow by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). He is currently a member of the editorial board of Pharmaceutical Research and The AAPS Journal and has served as a reviewer for numerous scientific publications.

From 1987-1993, following the application for patents regarding the chemistry and use of novel neuroactive steroids for treatment of anxiety, epilepsy, and sleep disorders, Dr. Bolger co-founded and served as Director of Medicinal Chemistry at CoCensys Inc., Irvine CA. Drug candidates emanating from seven of Dr. Bolger's patents reached Phase I and II clinical trials for petite mal epilepsy, sleep disorders, and migrane. CoCensys eventually ran out of money and was sold to Purdue Pharma in 1999. Neuroactive steroids have potential clinical utility as anesthetics, hypnotics, anticonvulsants and anxiolytics. Furthermore, GABAergic neurosteroids may participate in regulating mood and the effects of alcohol on the nervous system, suggesting a potential role in major psychiatric disorders. Neuroactive steroids that alter the function of glutamate receptors could be useful for treating neurodegenerative disorders, and as cognitive enhancers. Recent progress in developing watersoluble steroids and steroids with enhanced oral efficacy foster optimism that certain neuroactive steroids will be developed for clinical use (Zorumski, CF, IDrugs. 2000 Sep;3(9):1053-63.).

At USC School of Pharmacy, Dr. Bolger pioneered the use of computer-based problem solving in a Pharmaceutical Curriculum. In 1992 he was awarded the Innovations in Teaching prize from the American Association for Colleges of Pharmacy, for his development of "Cyber Patient". This program is a multimedia pharmacokinetic simulation program for use in a problem-solving curriculum and has been distributed free of charge to hundreds of sites around the world.

Dr. Bolger is a Founding Scientist and is currently Chief Scientist at Simulations Plus, Inc. (Lancaster, CA) (AMEX: SLP) He works with a team of scientist / programmers in the development of software for the pharmaceutical industry. A list of computer programs and their principle programmers, developed under Dr. Bolger's direction include:

  • ADMET Predictor(TM): Designed to estimate biopharmaceutical properties from 2D and 3D molecular structures. (Michael Bolger, Ph.D., Jie Wu, Ph.D., Robert Fraczkiewicz, Ph.D.)
  • ADMET Modeler(TM): A a program for building artificial neural network ensemble (ANNE) and support vector machine (SVM) models.
  • GastroPlus(TM): Is a database and gastrointestinal simulation based on the Advanced Compartmental Absorption and Transit (ACAT) model. Among other capabilities, GastroPlus is used to simulate fraction of dose absorbed following oral drug administration. (Michael Bolger, Ph.D., John Rose, Ph.D., Walt Woltosz, MS., Balaji Agoram, Ph.D., Jason Chittenden, MS., Viera Lukacova, Ph.D., Haiying Zhou, Ph.D., Jessica Spires, Ph.D.),
  • DDDPlus(TM): A database and simulation of in vitro dissolution. (Michael Bolger, Ph.D., John DiBella, MS., Anand Prabhakaran, MS., James Mullin, M.S., Ke Szeto, Ph.D.)
  • MembranePlus(TM): A database and simulation of artificial membrane and cell culture permeability experiments. (John DiBella, MS, Shinji Yamashita, Ph.D., Viera Lukacova, Ph.D., Ke Szeto, Ph.D., James Mullin, M.S.)
These programs are currently in use in the pharmaceutical industry around the world to facilitate drug discovery and drug development.

You can E-mail me at: bolger@usc.edu