I created a model for the pathogenesis of a neurodegenerative disorders that reveals a novel target for neurorestoration/neuroprotection. Can I patent the use of an existing compound for another purpose since I have reason to believe it would also act to target neurodegeneration in this disease?
To provide some background, I'm a recent Ivy League alum who hasn't been able to secure a long-term position in a lab (in grad school or as a job). I've done an extensive analysis of the literature and believe I've found a number of solid papers to support my claim but, of course, since my clout in research is nonexistent, I'm not sure what to do. My advisor who supervised this work is still saying we can publish the manuscript where I explained my model this summer but I'm afraid that if there's multiple people on the paper, some of whom are bigger names in the fields of biochemistry, neurodegeneration, and medicine than me, it'll look like it wasn't completely my idea.
Should I use a preprint server, a provisional patent (even though I can't afford the full $5000 patent that you need to protect your patent status.), or ask one of the potential co-authors directly what she thinks (she's huge in the field of neurodegeneration)? I'm not trying to sound self-important, I'm just really anxious to capitalize on my effort, which involved a lot of work, before someone else does. How important does someone have to be in molecular neurobiology for a new idea from them to be taken seriously?