Blair (Velvet) Journigan, Ph. D.

Assistant Professor
Office: SKH 345
Phone: 304-696-5003
Email: journigan@marshall.edu

Dr. Velvet Journigan is an Assistant Professor of Medicinal Chemistry in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences. She obtained a PhD in medicinal chemistry from the University of Mississippi under Professor Christopher R. McCurdy. During her graduate training, she worked on small molecule pharmacological probes for neuropeptide FF1 and FF2 receptors (NPFF1-R and NPFF2-R), to aid in understanding their opioid-modulatory effects. She then trained under Dr. Nurulain T. Zaveri at Astraea Therapeutics, a discovery-stage pharmaceutical company, as a Postdoctoral Research Associate, prior to transitioning to a Scientist role. At Astraea, Dr. Journigan designed and synthesized a broad range of chemotypes targeting the nociceptin opioid receptor (NOP) and other opioid receptor subtypes, as non-addicting analgesics, opioid pan antagonists, and proprietary therapeutic scaffolds. Her expertise spans the early drug discovery process and initial preclinical development, with emphases on synthetic medicinal chemistry, and ligand- and structure-based drug design. Her current research interests focus on ligands for physiologically relevant transient receptor potential (TRP) channel subtypes and their role in sensory neuropathies and related disease states. Dr. Journigan is a pilot principal investigator in the Computational Drug Abuse Research (CDAR) Center at the University of Pittsburgh, and a member of the West Virginia Clinical and Translational Science Institute (WVCTSI) at West Virginia University and Neurobiology and Addiction Research Cluster (NARC) at Marshall University. She serves on the Board of Grants for the American Foundation for Pharmaceutical Education (AFPE).


Education and Training

  • BS, Chemistry, University of North Carolina at Wilmington
  • PhD, Medicinal Chemistry University of Mississippi
  • Advisor: Professor Christopher R. McCurdy
  • Postdoctoral, Astraea Therapeutics, Mountain View, CA
  • Mentor: Dr. Nurulain T. Zaveri
  • Scientist, Astraea Therapeutics, Mountain View, CA

View Publications on Pubmed


My laboratory focuses on de novo design and synthesis of chemical probes inspired by natural products and transient receptor potential (TRP) channel structural biology

Lab Website