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Andrea-Vernall Image 1xPhD BSc(Hons) (Canterbury)

Tel +64 3 479 5214
Location Science II 5n4

Professional background

  • 2006 – 2009, Research Officer, Institute for Molecular Bioscience, Brisbane
  • 2009 – 2013, Research Fellow, School of Pharmacy, University of Nottingham, UK
  • 2013 – 2020, Lecturer then Senior Lecturer, School of Pharmacy, University of Otago

Research interests

The Vernall research group focuses on the development of heterocyclic small molecules, peptidomimetics and fluorescent tools that target receptors in the human body. The motivation for developing new chemical tools is to better understand disease processes and cell signalling by studying targets implicated in various diseases and conditions. We particularly focus on developing new tools to study G protein-coupled receptors, for example adenosine and cannabinoid receptors. Other Vernall group research includes small molecule ligand development for modulating immune responses and new approaches to studying antibiotic resistance.


  • CHEM 202
  • CHEM 205
  • CHEM 305
  • CHEM 461


Payne, C., Awalt, J. K., May, L. T., Tyndall, J. D. A., Jörg, M., & Vernall, A. J. (2023). Bifunctional tools to study adenosine receptors. In V. Colotta & C. T. Supuran (Eds.), Purinergic receptors and their modulators. (pp. 179-221). Cham, Switzerland: Springer. doi: 10.1007/7355_2022_154

Sharma, R., Singh, S., Whiting, Z. M., Molitor, M., Vernall, A. J., & Grimsey, N. L. (2023). Novel Cannabinoid Receptor 2 (CB2) low lipophilicity agonists produce distinct cAMP and arrestin signalling kinetics without bias. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 24, 6406. doi: 10.3390/ijms24076406

Yin, J., Sharma, R., Tyndall, J. D. A., Grimsey, N. L., & Vernall, A. J. (2023). Synthesis and characterization of a cannabinoid type 2 receptor photoactivated prodrug. ChemPhotoChem, 7, e202200291. doi: 10.1002/cptc.202200291

Webb, H. D. J., Finlay, D. B., Chen, S., Vernall, A. J., Sparkes, E., Banister, S. D., Rosengren, R. J., & Glass, M. (2023). Characterisation of AMB-FUBINACA metabolism and CB1-mediated activity of its acid metabolite. Forensic Toxicology, 41, 114-125. doi: 10.1007/s11419-022-00649-3

Liddle, I., Glass, M., Tyndall, J. D. A., & Vernall, A. J. (2022). Covalent chromenopyrazole chemical tools for the cannabinoid type 2 receptor. In L. Wilson, H. Harcombe, P. Jayakaran, L. Burga, J. Antony, K. Morgaine, M. Garelja, A. Middleton, M. Anwar & T. Milne (Eds.), Proceedings of the 263rd Otago Medical School Research Society (OMSRS) Meeting: PhD Student Speaker Awards. Dunedin, New Zealand: OMSRS. Retrieved from

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