Fanny Astruc-Diaz

Research Assistant Professor


Personal Summary

After completing a B.Sc. in Perfume, Aroma & Cosmetology at the University of Montpellier (France), Fanny worked as a Formulation scientist in GLP/cGMP environment for the pharmaceutical company Galderma R&D (Sophia Antipolis, France) where she was in charge of the design and development of novel topical drug delivery systems to support pre-clinical and clinical studies. In 2006, she received her M.Sc. in Pharmaceutical Research and Development from the University Louis Pasteur (France) and she was appointed Early formulation team leader, in charge of the formulation of the New Chemical Entity at Galderma R&D (Sophia Antipolis, France). Then, Fanny held a position of senior scientist at the University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center, in the Pharmaceutical Development Center, where she was leading the regulatory and formulation aspects (i.e. CMC for IND) of research and development projects for chemotherapeutics and analgesics agents. Fanny joined the University of Montana in 2008 to manage projects focused on the design and characterization of targeted nanotechnology- enabled formulations to target neuro- and immune- active drugs to specific biological sites. In 2012, she received her Ph.D. in chemistry at University of Lyon 3, France. Fanny was promoted Research Assistant Professor at the University of Montana in 2015. Fanny is co-founder and CEO of DermaXon a pharmaceutical spin-off of the University of Montana. She is co-author/co-inventor on over 16 scientific papers and patent applications.


1997 B.Sc. University of Montpellier II, France
2006 M.Sc. University of Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg, France
2012 Ph.D. University Claude Bernard - LYON I, France

Courses Taught

Pharmaceutics: PHAR 331

Research Interests

My current research focuses on the design and characterization of targeted nanoparticles to deliver Aryl Hydrocarbons receptors (AhR) agonists and antagonists specifically to dendritic cells and T cells for the treatment of immune-mediated diseases.


ES013784-08S1, National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences. Development of a novel platform for the delivery of AhR antagonists to DCs and T cells.

ES025386, National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences. Development of a novel platform for the selective delivery of AhR agonists to DCs.


Field of Study

Drug Delivery Systems
Targeted Nanoparticles - Nanotechnology
Neurodegenerative diseases

Selected Publications

1.Design and synthesis of a novel series of N-alkyl isatin acylhydrazone derivatives that act as selective CB2 agonists for the treatment of neuropathic pain. Philippe Diaz, Jijun Xu, Fanny Astruc Diaz, Hao-Min Pan, David L. Brown, Mohamed Naguib. J.Med.Chem. 2008, 51, 4932–4947.
2.MDA7, a novel selective cannabinoid receptor 2 agonist preventing allodynia in rats with neuropathic pain. Naguib, M.; Diaz, P.; Xu, JJ.; Astruc-Diaz, F.; Craig, S.; Brown, DL. Br.J.Pharmacol. 2008, 155 (7), 1104-1116.
3. 6-Methoxy-N-alkyl Isatin Acylhydrazone Derivatives as a Novel Series of Potent Selective Cannabinoid Receptor 2 Inverse Agonists: Design, Synthesis, and Binding Mode Prediction. Philippe Diaz, Sharangdhar S. Phatak, Jijun Xu, Fanny Astruc Diaz, Claudio N. Cavasotto, Mohamed Naguib. J.Med.Chem. 2009, 52 (2), 433-444.
4.2,3-dihydro-1-benzofuran derivatives as a Novel Series of Potent Selective Cannabinoid Receptor 2 Agonists: Design, Synthesis, and Binding Mode Prediction. Philippe Diaz, Sharangdhar S. Phatak, Jijun Xu Frank R. Fronczek, Fanny Astruc-Diaz, Claudio N. Cavasotto, Mohamed Naguib. ChemMedChem. 2009, 4, 1615-1629.
5.Pharmacological characterization of a novel cannabinoid ligand, MDA19, for treatment of neuropathic pain. Xu JJ, Diaz P, Astruc-Diaz F, Craig S, Munoz E, Naguib M. Anesth Analg. 2010 Jul; 111(1):99-109.
6.In vivo efficacy of enabling formulations based on hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrins, micellar preparation and liposomes for the lipophilic cannabinoid CB2 agonist, MDA7. Fanny Astruc-Diaz, Steven W. McDaniel, Jijun J. Xu, Stéphane Parola, David L. Brown, Mohamed Naguib, Philippe Diaz. Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences. 2013; 102(2):352-64.
7.Mastering tricyclic ring systems for desirable functional cannabinoid activity. Petrov, Ravil; Knight, Lindsay; Chen, Shao-Rui; Wager-Miller, Jim; McDaniel, Steven; Astruc-Diaz, Fanny; Barth, Francis; Pan, Hui-Lin; Mackie, Ken; Cavasotto, Claudio; Diaz, Philippe. Europ.J.Med.Chem. 2013, 69:881-907.
8.Spinal gene expression profiling and pathways analysis of a CB2 agonist (MDA7)-targeted prevention of paclitaxel-induced neuropathy. Xu JJ, Diaz P, Bie B, Astruc-Diaz F, Wu J, Yang H, Brown DL, Naguib M. Neuroscience. 2014, 28:260:185-194.
9. Identification of NADPH oxidase as a key mediator in the post-ischemic-induced sequestration and degradation of the GluA2 AMPA receptor subunit. Phillip H. Beske, Nicole M. Byrnes, Fanny Astruc-Diaz, and Darrell A. Jackson. Journal of Neurochemistry. 2014.

10. Development and characterization of novel and selective inhibitors of cytochrome P450 CYP26A1, the human liver retinoic acid hydroxylase. Diaz P.; Huang W.; Keyari C.M.; Buttrick B.; Price L.; Guilloteau N.; Tripathy S.; Sperandio V.G.; Astruc-Diaz F.; Isoherranen N. J.Med.Chem. 2016, Resubmitted after revision.



1. Invert Emulsion containing DHEA. WO03011243.
2. Invert Emulsion type composition containing at least one active agent sensitive to the presence of water, and its uses in cosmetics and in dermatology. WO2004069134.
3. Cream gel containing Ivermectin. WO2005089806.
4. Composition of inverse emulsion type comprising Ivermectin, and uses thereof in cosmetics and dermatology. WO2007071876.
5. Pharmaceutical compositions comprising Ivermectin in aqueous phase and fatty phases. WO2007119028.
6. Composition containing a water-sensitive active ingredient useful e.g. for treating skin disorders or as a cosmetic, is an inverse emulsion comprising a glycol or water/glycol phase dispersed in a lipophilic phase. AT410184(T).
7. Novel Tricyclic modulators of cannabinoid receptors. US13/154,234.