Faculty: Ruth A. Ross, PhD

ChairRuth A. Ross, PhD
Professor & Chair

General Research Areas: Biochemical & Molecular Pharmacology; Drug Addiction; Neuropharmacology/Psychopharmacology; Receptor Pharmacology; Second Messengers & Signal Transduction; Cannabinoid Pharmacology, GPCR, Cannabis, Orphan GPCR

Ruth Ross is engaged in research into the molecular pharmacology of the cannabinoids and related lipid signalling systems. Her research is directed both toward gaining insight into the deleterious effects of cannabis smoking, the potential for cannabis a medicine and the development of small molecules targeting G protein coupled receptors. Together with medicinal chemists she is engaged in the development of novel small molecule therapeutics for major diseases including chronic pain, addiction, cancer and diabetes.

Selected Publications

Greig IR, Baillie GL, Abdelrahman M, Trembleau L, Ross RA. (2016). Development of indole sulfonamides as cannabinoid receptor negative allosteric modulators. Bioorg Med Chem 2016. Lett;26(18):4403-7.

Morales P, Whyte LS, Chicharro R, Gómez-Cañas M, Pazos MR, Goya P, Irving AJ, Fernández-Ruiz J, Ross RA, Jagerovic N.. Identification of Novel GPR55 Modulators Using Cell-Impedance-Based Label-Free Technology. 2016. J Med Chem; 59(5):1840-53.  PMID: 26789378

A Cannabinoid CB1 Ignatowska-Jankowska BM, Baillie GL, Kinsey S, Crowe M, Ghosh S, Owens RA, Damaj IM, Poklis J, Wiley JL, Zanda M, Zanato C, Greig IR, Lichtman AH, Ross RA (2015). Receptor-Positive Allosteric Modulator Reduces Neuropathic Pain in the Mouse with No Psychoactive Effects. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2015. 40(13):2948-59. PMID: 26052038

Vallée M, Vitiello S, Bellocchio L, Hébert-Chatelain E, Monlezun S, Martin-Garcia E, Kasanetz F, Baillie GL, Panin F, Cathala A, Roullot-Lacarrière V, Fabre S, Hurst DP, Lynch DL, Shore DM, Deroche-Gamonet V, Spampinato U, Revest JM, Maldonado R, Reggio PH, Ross RA, Marsicano G, Piazza PV. Pregnenolone can protect the brain from cannabis intoxication. Science. 2014; 343:94-8.

Shore DM, Ballie GL, Hurst DP, Navas FJ 3rd, Seltzman HH, Marcu JP, Abood ME, Ross RA, Reggio PH. Allosteric Modulation of a Cannabinoid G Protein-Coupled Receptor: Binding Site Elucidation and Relationship to G Protein Signaling. J Biol Chem. 2014 ;289(9):5828-45014;

Sylantyev S, Jensen TP, Ross RA, Rusakov DA. Cannabinoid- and LPI-sensitive receptor GPR55 boosts neurotransmitter release at central synapses. Proc  Nat Acad Sci.,2013; 110:5193-8.

Baillie GL, Horswill J, Anavi-Goffer S, Reggio PH, Abood ME, Bolognini D, McAllister S, Strange PG, Stephens GJ, Pertwee RG, Ross RA. CB1 Receptor Allosteric Modulators Display both Agonist and Signaling Pathway Specificity. Mol Pharmacol. 2013; 83:322–338.

Nicoll G, Davidson S, Shanley L, Hing B, Lear M, McGuffin P, Ross R, MacKenzie A. Allele-specific differences in activity of a novel cannabinoid receptor 1 (CNR1) gene intronic enhancer in hypothalamus, dorsal root ganglia, and hippocampus. J Biol Chem. 2012; 287:12828-34.

Anavi-Goffer S, Greig IR, Irving AJ, Pertwee RG, Ross RA. Modulation of L-α-lysophosphatidylinositol /GPR55 MAP kinase signalling by cannabinoids. J Biol Chem. 2012; 287: 91-104.

Ford LA, Roelofs AJ, Anavi-Goffer S, Mowat L, Simpson DG, Irving AJ, Rogers MJ, Rajnicek AM, Ross RA. A role for L-α-lysophosphatidylinositol and GPR55 in the modulation of migration, orientation and polarisation of human breast cancer cells. Brit J Pharmacol. 2010; 160:762-771. 

Whyte LS, Ryberg E, Sims NA, Ridge S, Mackie K, Greasley PJ, Ross RA & Rogers MJ. The putative cannabinoid receptor GPR55 affects osteoclast function in vitro and bone mass in vivo. Proc Nat Acad Sci. 2009; 106:16511-16516.

Ross, RA. The enigmatic pharmacology of GPR55. Trends Pharmacol Sci. 2009; 30(3):156-63. 

Henstridge CM, Balenga, NAB, Ford, LA., Ross, RA, Waldhoer M, Irving AJ. The GPR55 ligand L-lysophosphatidylinositol promotes RhoA-dependent Ca2+ signaling and NFAT activation. FASEB J. 2009; 23:183-193.

Ross, RA. Allosterism and cannabinoid CB1 receptors: the shape of things to come. Trends Pharmacol Sci. 2007; 28(11):567-72.

Berghuis P, Rajnicek AM, Morozov YM, Ross RA, Monory K, Marsicano G, Lutz B, Matteoli M, Canty A, Yanagawa Y, Rakic P, Poo M-M, Mackie K and Harkany T. Hardwiring the brain: endocannabinoids shape neuronal connectivity. Science, 2007 May 25; 316(5828)1212-6.

Price MR, Baillie G, Thomas A. Stevenson LA, Easson M., Goodwin R., Walker G., Westwood P, Marrs J., Mclean A, Mcintosh L., Goodwin G., Thompson F., Cowley P., Christopoulos A., Pertwee RG, & Ross RA. Allosteric Modulation of the Cannabinoid CB1 Receptor. Mol Pharmacol., 2005; 68 (5):1484-95.


Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology
Room 4207, Medical Sciences Building 
1 King's College Circle 
Toronto, Ontario 
M5S 1A8 
Phone: 416-978-2723 
Email: ruth.ross@utoronto.ca