UHealth - University of Miami Health System

Claes Wahlestedt, M.D., Ph.D.

General Information

Claes  Wahlestedt, M.D., Ph.D.


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  • English


  • Associate Dean for Therapeutic Innovation
  • Director, Center for Therapeutic Innovation
  • Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Clinical Interests

  • Role of noncoding RNAs in schizophrenia.
  • Role of microRNAs in the mechanisms of drug dependence.
  • Regulatory RNAs as mediators and biomarkers in Alzheimer's Disease.
  • Discovery and development of nociceptin receptor ligands in alcohol dependence.
  • Noncoding RNAs as epigenomic modulators in Alzheimer's Disease.
  • Discovery of potent and selective neuropeptide Y Y2 receptor antagonist probes.
  • Comprehensive analysis of the FMR1 locus transcriptional landscape.



Claes Wahlestedt, M.D., Ph.D., an internationally recognized researcher of novel drug therapies for neuropsychiatric disorders and epigenetics, is the director of the Center for Therapeutic Innovation and associate dean for therapeutic innovations.  Wahlestedt, a founding faculty member and professor of neuroscience and molecular therapeutics at the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute, was also a founding director of the Center for Genomics and Bioinformatics and a department chair at the Karolinska Institute in his native Sweden. The author of some 200 papers in major scientific journals in his field, Wahlestedt has a long-standing interest in non-protein-coding RNA (epigenetics) and pioneered various uses of antisense RNA, siRNA and small molecules that target RNA. At Scripps Florida, he co-founded CURNA, a spin-off company based on his patent for exploiting a cell’s ability to make therapeutic proteins, a discovery that holds promise for potential treatments for such diseases as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. He spent four years as assistant professor in the Division of Neurobiology, Department of Neurology and Neuroscience, at Cornell University Medical College in New York, and was subsequently adjunct professor of biochemistry, and pharmacology and therapeutics at McGill University in Montreal. He also spent more than a decade directing drug discovery or genomics efforts in the pharmaceutical industry for Astra-Zeneca, Pharmacia & Upjohn, and Pharmacia Corporation.