Zhao-hui Song, PhD


Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology

Research Tower A 1306 zhao-hui.song@louisville.edu 502–852–5160


Ph.D., Pharmacology, University of Minnesota (1992)

Research Areas and Special Projects

The current research focuses of Dr. Song’s laboratory are the molecular targets of cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are composed of three categories, including phytocannabinoids (the active chemical components of cannabis), endocannabinoids (the cannabinoid-like substances in our body), and synthetic cannabinoids. We are studying the ligand binding and signal transduction mechanisms of CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors, two proven molecular targets for cannabinoids. In addition, we are investigating GPR3, GPR6 and GPR12, a family of orphan receptors that have been recently shown by us to be novel molecular targets for cannabidiol (CBD). CBD is the major non-psychoactive of marijuana and has been proposed to have therapeutic potentials for a variety of illnesses, including glaucoma, neurological/psychiatric disorders and cancer. Therefore, our research on GPR3, GPR6 and GPR12 will not only help to understand the mechanisms of action for CBD, it will also explore the viability of these three receptors as novel therapeutic targets.