Steven L. Wagner, Ph.D.

Professor in Residence, Neurosciences, University of California, San Diego

Dr. Wagner joined the Department of Neurosciences in the School of Medicine at the University of California, San Diego in June of 2009. Prior to that Dr. Wagner co-founded TorreyPines Therapeutics, then named Neurogenetics, in 2000 serving as its Chief Scientific Officer for nine years.  Previously, Dr. Wagner was the Director of Protein Biochemistry at SIBIA Neurosciences from 1991-1999. He served as the program head of SIBIA’s Alzheimer’s disease drug discovery collaboration with Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS). This collaboration resulted in the first gamma-secretase inhibitor for Alzheimer’s disease to reach the clinic. Dr. Wagner was a member of SIBIA’s Strategic Planning and Drug Discovery Steering Committees and a member of the Joint Steering Committee between SIBIA and BMS. Dr. Wagner is an inventor on numerous patents and patent applications and has published over 50 chapters and research papers in the top scientific journals. Prior to leading SIBIA’s Alzheimer’s disease drug discovery efforts, Dr. Wagner was a Research Associate Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at the University of California at Irvine where he co-authored the initial purification and identification of the human amyloid precursor protein (APP). Dr. Wagner received his B.S. in chemistry from Bellarmine College and received his M.S. and Ph.D. in biochemistry from the Health Sciences Center at the University of Louisville School of Medicine.

Related Research:

Funded Research

These projects were made possible from Cure Alzheimer's Fund support.

Project Description Researchers Funding
Comprehensive Analyses of Chronic Efficacy Studies with GSM 776890 for Submission of the Pre-IND Brochure to the FDA Prior to Pre-IND Meeting and IND Filing for the SAD/MAD Phase I Safety/Toxicity and Ultimately for Phase II and Phase III Efficacy Clinical Trials to Support the NDA 2020


The Effect of Chronic Gamma-Secretase Modulation on the Prevention of Traumatic Brain Injury-Provoked and Alzheimer’s Disease-Relevant Biochemical, Pathological and Behavioral Alterations 2018-2019


Biochemical Mapping of the GSM Binding Site of Novel Pyridazine-Derived Small Molecule Gamma-Secretase Modulators 2017 and 2019


Treating with Gamma-Secretase Modulators (GSMs) to Prevent Neurodegeneration in Mouse Models of Down Syndrome 2017 and 2019


Binding Site Characterization of a Novel Pyridazine-Derived Class of γ-Secretase Modulators 2016


Acceleration of FDA-Required GLP Gene Toxicity Studies with the GSM BPN-15606 2016


Lead Optimization and Lead Evolution of Potent SGSMs for the Treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease 2015


Elucidation of the Molecular Target of Potent γ-Secretase Modulators 2014


Elucidation of the mechanism of action of Gamma Secretase Modulators 2013


Novel Soluble Gamma-Secretase Modulators for the Treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease Identification of the Molecular Target of Potent Gamma-Secretase Modulators 2011


Design, Synthesis and Characterization of Novel and Potent Gamma Secretase Modulators: Physiochemical and Pharmacokinetic Properties 2009


Novel Soluable Gamma-Secretase Modulators 2010


Selected Publications

These published papers resulted from Cure Alzheimer’s Fund support.

Steven L. Wagner, Kevin D. Rynearson, Steven K. Duddy, Can Zhang, Phuong D. Nguyen, Ann Becker, Uyen Vo, Deborah Masliah, Louise Monte, Justin B. Klee, Corinne M. Echmalian, Weiming Xia, Luisa Quinti, Graham Johnson, Jiunn H. Lin, Doo Y. Kim, William C. Mobley, Robert A. Rissman, Rudolph E. Tanzi Pharmacological and Toxicological Properties of the Potent Oral gamma-Secretase Modulator BPN-15606, Journal Of Pharmacology And Experimental Therapeutics, 362(1), Jul 2017, 31-44, Read More

Carla D’Avanzo, Christopher Sliwinski, Steven L. Wagner, Rudolph E. Tanzi, Doo Yeon Kim, and Dora M. Kovacs γ-Secretase modulators reduce endogenous amyloid β42 levels in human neural progenitor cells without altering neuronal differentiation, The FASEB Journal, 29(8), 22 April 2015, 3335-3341, Read More

Wagner SL, Tanzi RE, Mobley WC, Galasko D Potential Use of γ-Secretase Modulators in the Treatment of Alzheimer Disease, Arch Neurol., July 16, 2012, Read More

Kim M, Suh J, Romano D, Truong MH, Mullin K, Hooli B, Norton D, Tesco G, Elliot K, Wagner SL, Moir RD, Becker KD, Tanzi RE. Potential late-onset Alzheimer’s disease-associated mutations in the ADAM10 gene attenuate alpha-secretase activity., Human Molecular Genetics, Vol 18, Oct 15, 2009, Read More

Bertram L, Lange CL, Mullin K, Parkinson M, Hsiao M, Hogan MF,  Schjeide BMM, Hooli B, DeVito J, Ionita I, Jiang H, Laird N, Moscarillo T, Ohlsen KL, Elliott K, Wang X, Hu-Lince D, Ryder M, Murphy A, Wagner SL, Blacker D, Becker KD, Tanzi RE. Genome-wide Association Analysis Reveals Putative Alzheimer’s Disease Susceptibility Loci in Addition to APOE, Am. J. Hum. Genet., 83, November 2008, 623-632, Read More