Researcher Profile

Researcher Profile

Jeffrey Neighbors, PhD

Jeffrey Neighbors, PhD

Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmacology
Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine
Scientific Program:Mechanisms of Carcinogenesis

Research Interests

Dr. Jeffrey Neighbors’ lab is focused on drug development. One current research project is centered on the development of novel agents which inhibit steps in the mevalonate (cholesterol synthesis) pathway to reduce transcription of genes targeted by the Hippo pathway transcription factor TAZ as potential treatments for osteosarcoma.

Additionally, the lab is studying the potential for statin drugs that inhibit this same pathway as treatment for neuroblastoma and other cancers.

A completely different project looks at a family of natural products, pawhuskins, isolated from a prairie plant, that have antagonist activity at several opioid receptors and are under investigation for the potential to increase wound healing by inhibiting opioid growth factor activity.

Before coming to Penn State, Dr. Neighbors worked for a small biotech company driving the drug development efforts and has experience integrating development activity across disciplines from chemical synthesis to pharmacokinetics and ADME/DMPK studies.

  • Neoplasms
  • Biological Products
  • Stilbenes
  • Terpenes
  • Therapeutics
  • Cell Line
  • Narcotic Antagonists
  • Epoxy Compounds
  • Hypericum
  • Cyclization
  • Prostatic Neoplasms
  • Light

Recent Publications


Huang, X, Sterling, NW, Du, G, Sun, D, Stetter, C, Kong, L, Zhu, Y, Neighbors, J, Lewis, M, Chen, H, Hohl, R & Mailman, R 2019, 'Brain cholesterol metabolism and Parkinson's disease', Movement Disorders, vol. 34, no. 3, pp. 386-395.
Weissenrieder, JS, Neighbors, J, Mailman, R & Hohl, R 2019, 'Cancer and the dopamine D2 receptor: A pharmacological perspective', Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, vol. 370, no. 1, pp. 111-126.


Stevens, JW, Meyerholz, DK, Neighbors, J & Morcuende, JA 2018, '5′-methylschweinfurthin G reduces chondrosarcoma tumor growth', Journal of Orthopaedic Research, vol. 36, no. 4, pp. 1283-1293.
Weissenrieder, JS, Reilly, JE, Neighbors, J & Hohl, R 2019, 'Inhibiting geranylgeranyl diphosphate synthesis reduces nuclear androgen receptor signaling and neuroendocrine differentiation in prostate cancer cell models', Prostate, vol. 79, no. 1, pp. 21-30.
Kokolus, KM, Haley, JS, Koubek, EJ, Gowda, R, Dinavahi, SS, Sharma, A, Claxton, D, Helm, K, Drabick, J, Robertson, G, Neighbors, J, Hohl, R & Schell, T 2019, 'Schweinfurthin natural products induce regression of murine melanoma and pair with anti-PD-1 therapy to facilitate durable tumor immunity', OncoImmunology, vol. 8, no. 2, e1539614.
Koubek, EJ, Weissenrieder, JS, Neighbors, J & Hohl, R 2018, 'Schweinfurthins: Lipid Modulators with Promising Anticancer Activity', Lipids, vol. 53, no. 8, pp. 767-784.
Neighbors, J 2018, 'The Mevalonate Pathway and Terpenes: a Diversity of Chemopreventatives', Current Pharmacology Reports, vol. 4, no. 2, pp. 157-169.


Sedghizadeh, PP, Sun, S, Junka, AF, Richard, E, Sadrerafi, K, Mahabady, S, Bakhshalian, N, Tjokro, N, Bartoszewicz, M, Oleksy, M, Szymczyk, P, Lundy, MW, Neighbors, J, Russell, RGG, McKenna, CE & Ebetino, FH 2017, 'Design, Synthesis, and Antimicrobial Evaluation of a Novel Bone-Targeting Bisphosphonate-Ciprofloxacin Conjugate for the Treatment of Osteomyelitis Biofilms', Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, vol. 60, no. 6, pp. 2326-2343.
Stockdale, DP, Titunick, MB, Biegler, JM, Reed, JL, Hartung, AM, Wiemer, DF, McLaughlin, P & Neighbors, J 2017, 'Selective opioid growth factor receptor antagonists based on a stilbene isostere' Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry, vol. 25, no. 16, pp. 4464-4474.
Reilly, JE, Neighbors, J & Hohl, R 2017, 'Targeting protein geranylgeranylation slows tumor development in a murine model of prostate cancer metastasis', Cancer Biology and Therapy, vol. 18, no. 11, pp. 872-882.


Hartung, AM, Navarro, HA, Wiemer, DF & Neighbors, J 2016, 'Corrigendum to “A selective delta opioid receptor antagonist based on a stilbene core” (Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry Letters (2015) 25(23) (5532–5535) (S0960894X15301682) (10.1016/j.bmcl.2015.10.059))' Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry Letters, vol. 26, no. 6.


Kuder, CH, Weivoda, MM, Zhang, Y, Zhu, J, Neighbors, J, Wiemer, DF & Hohl, R 2015, '3-Deoxyschweinfurthin B Lowers Cholesterol Levels by Decreasing Synthesis and Increasing Export in Cultured Cancer Cell Lines' Lipids, vol. 50, no. 12, pp. 1195-1207.
Hartung, AM, Navarro, HA, Wiemer, DF & Neighbors, J 2015, 'A selective delta opioid receptor antagonist based on a stilbene core' Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry Letters, vol. 25, no. 23, pp. 5532-5535.
Reilly, JE, Neighbors, J, Tong, H, Henry, MD & Hohl, R 2015, 'Targeting geranylgeranylation reduces adrenal gland tumor burden in a murine model of prostate cancer metastasis', Clinical and Experimental Metastasis, vol. 32, no. 6, pp. 555-566.
Osborn-Heaford, HL, Murthy, S, Gu, L, Larson-Casey, JL, Ryan, AJ, Shi, L, Glogauer, M, Neighbors, J, Hohl, R & Carter, AB 2015, 'Targeting the isoprenoid pathway to abrogate progression of pulmonary fibrosis', Free Radical Biology and Medicine, vol. 86, pp. 47-56.

Clinical Trials Search

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Adults (age >= 18 years)