Staff Collaborate Conference Room

Paul L. Ornstein, PhD

Paul L. Ornstein, PhD

Associate Professor Department of Biopharmaceutical Sciences


  • MCW Pharmacy School
    HRC H2600

Contact Information


PhD, Organic Chemistry, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI
BS, Chemistry, University of California, Los Angeles, CA
Postdoctoral Research Fellow with Prof. David A. Evans, California Institute of Technology and Harvard University


Paul L. Ornstein, PhD is a passionate Drug Hunter and Teacher. After training as a synthetic organic chemist, Dr. Ornstein joined Eli Lilly, where for 28 years he was a drug discovery medicinal chemist. Upon retiring, he joined the Roosevelt University College of Pharmacy, and after 5 years, is now joining the Medical College of Wisconsin Pharmacy School. He is an accomplished medicinal chemist in the neuroscience area, having led multidisciplinary scientific teams that delivered 8 clinical candidates. Most of Dr. Ornstein’s research efforts have focused on the discovery of novel ligands for excitatory amino acid receptors. Notable among these are the AMPA/kainate antagonist tezampanel and the kainate antagonist dasolampanel, plus the mGlu2,3 antagonist LY341495. His research efforts resulted in 57 issued US patents, 120 peer-reviewed publications, and 55 invited lectures on his research at scientific meetings and universities around the world.

Research Interests

  • Synthesis of novel TB therapeutics that have increased efficacy, especially against multi-drug resistant strains, and that reduce patient drug burden
  • Synthesis of novel therapeutics for ionotropic and metabotropic glutamate receptors having an impact on psychiatric and neurological diseases


It is my goal in teaching students about the drugs they will recommend and dispense to merge meaningful experiences from my drug discovery and teaching backgrounds. I want to instill in them an understanding of the most meaningful aspects of the drug structure so that they become Structurally Proficient Pharmacists, blending that with drug discovery stories and origin stories of modern pharmacotherapeutics so that students have a scientifically meaningful, relevant, and satisfying learning experience.

Paul L. Ornstein, PhD