Selected current projects

Mechanisms for differential GPCR:effector coupling

G protein coupled receptors can be activated to a varied extent by different ligands. This is the basis for partial efficacy, which has been exploited for a subset of medicines. We have previously shown part of the mechanism for this differential receptor-transducer at the calcitonin receptor and this project seeks to extend this work using single molecule studies. Part of this project is in collaboration with Dr. Chris Ritchie (School of Chemistry, Monash University)

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The complexity of receptor signaling in the control of appetite

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The Ghrelin receptor is a relatively recently discovered GPCR involved in increasing appetite. Its involvement in feeding and feeding-reward pathways rely on the ability of the Ghrelin receptor to signal in the absence of ligand and for it to interact with dopamine D2 and oxytocin receptors. We believe the Ghrelin receptor acts in specific neurons to alter the pathway to which dopamine and oxytocin receptors couple.

The project involves the investigation of the biophysical basis of Dopamine D2 and Oxytocin receptor coupling in the presence of the Ghrelin receptor.  This project is part of a new collaboration with Prof. J.B. Furness. at the Florey Institute of Neuroscience (Melbourne)