Aaron McMurtray, MD, PhD

Aaron McMurtray, MD, PhD

Investigator, The Lundquist Institute
Associate Clinical Professor of Neurology, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
Director, Behavioral Neurology Clinic at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center


Cognitive dysfunction

Research Description

Dr. McMurtray's research is focused on development of structurally novel and repurposed small molecules that act as positive allosteric modulators of the alpha-7-nicotinic acetylcoholine receptor. These compounds may have applications in treatment of several neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia, and also certain types of cancer.
Theme Groups


  • BA, 1996, Claremont McKenna College, Claremont, CA
  • MD, 2000, Vanderbilt University Medical School, Nashville, TN
  • PhD, 2008, University of Hawaii at Manoa

Recent and/or Significant Publications

Ekins S, Diaz N, Chung J, Mathews P, McMurtray A. Enabling Anyone to Translate Clinically Relevant Ideas to Therapies. Pharm Res. 2017;34(1):1-6. PMID: 27620174


  • “Methods and Compositions for Treating Neurodegenerative Diseases.” Provisional patent application No. 62/482,867, filed on 4/7/2017.
  • “Structurally novel Phenytoin derivatives with enhanced binding to neuronal voltage gated sodium channels” Provisional patent applicaton No. 62/298,322, filed on 2/22/2016.
  • “Methods and Compositions for Modulating (beta)-Amyloid/(alpha)7-NACHR Interactions” PCT/US2018/026308, filed on 4/5/2018.