For Research. For Berlin.


Receptor meets G protein: a molecular dance that is essential for human life and drug therapy

Roger Sunahara

Keynote and round table with Nobel Laureate Brian Kobilka (Stanford University) and Roger Sunahara (University of California, San Diego) 

11 July 2018

G protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) conduct the majority of transmembrane responses to hormones and neurotransmitters, and mediate the senses of sight, smell and taste. Approximately half of all medications used today make use of this kind of receptors. Over a decade ago, Roger Sunahara and Brian Kobilka met at a conference and started a collaboration to understand GPCR signaling in molecular detail using an array of methods ranging from traditional pharmacology and signaling assays to spectroscopy and crystallography. In their keynote Kobilka and Sunahara will highlight several of their favorite collaborative studies. The subsequent round table discussion moderated by young researchers will shed light not only on the groundbreaking research and potential medical applications but also give some more personal insights into the life of these distinguished researchers.

Brian Kobilka

Kobilka studied at the University of Minnesota Duluth and earned his medical degree from Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. After completing his residency in St Louis, Missouri, he moved to Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, where he conducted his Nobel Prize-awarded research together with Robert Lefkowitz (Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2012). Since 1989 he has been Professor for Medicine and Molecular and Cellular Physiology at Stanford University. Kobilka has been awarded an Einstein BIH Visiting Fellowship funded by Stiftung Charité in 2017. His research group at the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH) collaborates with the laboratory of Peter Hildebrand from the Charité-Universitätsmedizin at the Einstein Center Digital Future. 

Sunahara is Professor of Pharmacology at the University of California San Diego. His laboratory specializes in the structure and function of GPCRs and utilizes biochemical, biophysical and pharmacological methodologies to study GPCR-G protein interactions. He started his research career at the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor. In 2015 Professor Sunahara moved his laboratory to the Department of Pharmacology at the University of California in San Diego, La Jolla.

Einstein BIH Visiting Fellow

The Einstein BIH Visiting Fellowship aims to enhance the international profile of the Berlin Institute of Health by involving leading scientists from abroad in long-term academic research collaborations. The Stiftung Charité generously funds the program by its Private Excellence Initiative Johanna Quandt.

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