Stella Lab

Cannabinoid Pharmacology
and Neuro-Oncology

Our Research

Endocannabinoids, ABHD6
and epilepsy
Cannabinoids, adolescent brain
and cognitive impairment
Brain cancer, brain penetrant
microtubule targeting agents
and ST-compounds


Nephi Stella

Nephi Stella, Ph D. | Departments of Pharmacology, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences | University of Washington, Seattle WA

For over 20 years, Dr. Stella has studied the molecular mechanism and therapeutic value of cannabinoid-based molecules (including of phyto-cannabinoids produced by the plant, synthetic cannabinoids developed in the laboratory and endocannabinoids produced by cells). These cannabinoid-based molecules could help for the treatment of devastating brain diseases, including brain cancers and epilepsy. The initial work led to the discovery of both the prominent endocannabinoid, 2-arachidonylglycerol (2-AG), in the brain, and its degrading enzyme, ABHD6, that controls 2-AG signaling in brain and peripheral tissues. The more recent work led to the development of small molecule (ST-compounds) that destabilize microtubules and kill cancer cells through a novel mechanism. ST compounds pass the blood brain barrier and are being developed for the treatment glioblastomas and brain metastases.

Recent Publications

ABHD6: Its Place in Endocannabinoid Signaling and Beyond

Jessica K Cao, Joshua Kaplan, Nephi Stella

Cannabidiol attenuates seizures and social deficits in a mouse model of Dravet syndrome

Joshua S Kaplan, Nephi Stella, William A Catterall, Ruth E Westenbroek

A brain-penetrant microtubule-targeting agent that disrupts hallmarks of glioma tumorigenesis

Eric A Horne, Philippe Diaz, Patrick J Cimino, Erik Jung, Cong Xu, Ernest Hamel, Michael Wagenbach, Debra Kumasaka, Nicholas B Wageling, Daniel D Azorín, Frank Winkler, Linda G Wordeman, Eric C Holland, Nephi Stella

Sex-dependent impaired locomotion and motor coordination in the HdhQ200/200 mouse model of Huntington's Disease

Jessica K Cao, Katie Viray, Larry Zweifel, Nephi Stella

GPR124 regulates microtubule assembly, mitotic progression, and glioblastoma cell proliferation

Allison E Cherry, Juan Jesus Vicente, Cong Xu, Richard S Morrison, Shao-En Ong, Linda Wordeman, Nephi Stella

More Publications...