GPCR function and regulation in health and disease

GPCRs regulate essentially every physiological process in humans, including vital brain functions underlying behavior. We want to ultimately link what we learn about the cellular function and regulation of these receptors to physiology and pathophysiology. As a step towards this goal, we are examining how the spatial, biochemical and pharmacological regulation of GPCRs shapes important neuronal functions at the cellular level.

 We are currently focusing on:

1)   Understanding the functional consequences of compartmentalized GPCR/cAMP signaling in primary neurons. The concept of location-based signaling is particularly interesting in neurons due to their large size and structural specialization, and we are evaluating how site-specific receptor signaling underlies neuronal activity and activity-dependent transcription and translation.

2)   Investigating how the spatial and biochemical regulation of receptor signaling is impacted in human diseases using iPSC-derived neurons.